Monday, July 25, 2011

peach and pecan upside down cake

nope i'm not dead, the yumcoast isn't dead, we've just been busy.

upon arriving in atlanta just a few weeks ago kris and i have had lots of family/friend hang out time, we've unpacked, slowly acquired furniture and and we also got this little guy, alfonzo! he's been a bit of a distraction. just look at him!

but now that the kitchen* is fully unpacked i'm ready to get back to business. i've missed cooking a lot and i've missed yumcoasting a lot. i've got weird work hours now which means kris is making most of our week night meals (what a sweetie) so i'll be taking advantage of the weekends (and any work at home days i can get!) to cook up a storm for weekend meals and weeknight prep.

sunday night we had our first dinner guests. since my mom and stuart played such a huge part in us getting this house we wanted to have them over pronto to thank them the best way we know how...with delicious food. i made this cake for dessert, with the peaches and pecans it was a fitting first sweet to make in our new home state. the cake is almost banana bread-ish (yum!) which paired really nicely with the crunchy pecans and sweet (white) peaches.

also, please forgive the photos. our new place isn't nearly as bright as our last. plus having a puppy running around while trying to photograph a piece of cake on a low table makes things interesting.

peach and pecan upside down cake
(veganized from bon appetit, august 2009)
ingredients for peach and pecan topping:
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
pecan halves (about 40)
2 medium peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and cut into wedges
ingredients for cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk

peach and pecan topping:

melt margarine in medium saucepan over medium heat. add brown sugar; whisk until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. pour mixture into 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; spread evenly over bottom of pan (layer will be thin). arrange pecan halves, side by side with round sides down, in circle around outer edge of pan bottom. arrange peach wedges, slightly overlapping, inside circle of pecans, covering pan bottom. set aside while making cake batter.

position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. combine first 6 ingredients in processor. blend until nuts are finely ground. beat sugar and margarine in large bowl until pale in color, about 4 minutes. whisk cornstarch mixture and vanilla in small bowl until well blended and add to margarine mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. drop batter by large spoonfuls atop pecans and peaches in pan; spread evenly and gently with spatula.

bake cake until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. transfer cake to rack; cool in pan 25 to 30 minutes (do not cool longer or peach layer may stick to pan). run small knife around sides of cake to loosen. place serving platter atop cake pan. using oven mitts, firmly hold cake pan and platter together and invert cake onto platter. let cake rest 1 minute, then very slowly lift off pan. if necessary, rearrange any peach wedges or pecans that may have become dislodged (my peaches came out perfectly! my pecans? not so much...). let cool to room temperature.

*oh you mean the kitchen that is bigger than our old living room? where two people can cook at the same time and have guests hang out? mmhmm.