Monday, 6 August 2007

A break from the heat

Posted by Bonita


The whole country was stuck in a heat wave last week, ranging from the high-20s to mid-30s (not including the humidity!), and with this kind of heat, I stayed away from the oven. Thankfully, there was a break in the heat this weekend, which meant that I could turn on my beloved oven once again!

Saturday morning started off with a simple and easy brunch of freshly baked scones and a Tomato and Herbs Frittata. I recently borrowed a Bill Granger book from the library after having heard a few things about the guy. While flipping through his book, I saw a recipe for scones, which made me crave scones and thus, resulted in me making the scones. The scones were very easy to put together, and they were absolutely delicious fresh out of the oven with a dollop of whipped cream and my homemade strawberry jam.


I'm not a big fan of "baked eggs" but a good way to get rid of some of the leftover food in our fridge is to put it in a frittata. We had some home-grown cherry tomatoes lying around that no one was very keen on eating, so I put them in the frittata, along with some fresh herbs from the garden as well. Sprinkled half of the omelet with gruyère and brie cheese and finished the frittata off under the broiler. I made this in my new cast-iron pan, which was really nice. It was pre-seasoned, and the egg actually didn't stick to the pan! Yeah!


Lastly, made a cake since I was craving something sweet. Another Bill Granger-inspired recipe when I was flipping through his book. He had a recipe for a Plum & Vanilla Cake. I didn't have any plums, but I did have a lot of peaches, so I just substituted the peaches for the plums. Bill's cake also had a streusel topping; I simply omitted the streusel topping and sprinkled some lightly toasted almond flakes on top before baking the cake. Cake was delicious, although I might try reducing the sugar a bit the next time around.


Peach, Vanilla and Almond Cake
Adapted from Bill Granger
Serves 10-12

  • 180 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large fresh peaches, quartered
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and fold into the mixture. Pour cake batter into a 9-inch greased or non-stick springform cake pan. Top with quartered peaches with the cut side up. Sprinkle the flaked almonds overtop and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if preferred.

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