Peaches and raspberries are my favourite summer fruits (I may have mentioned this on occasion). Unfortunately, with sweet, sticky fruit, comes my arch nemesis: THE PICNIC WASP.
Wasps are malevolent little dildo-heads and we haven't been on speaking terms since one stung me in the face a few years ago, making me fall off my bike and into a hedge. Burying sticky fruit in a cake seems to help keep them at bay, at least, for long enough to eat your wares in relative peace.
I'm sending this cake to Maison Cupcake's Forever Nigella 8, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours
The cake is actually a marriage between Nigella and Nigel. if the coverage devoted to it in his Guardian column is anything to go by, Nigel Slater is an even bigger fan of the fruit and cake mash-up than me.
The recipe below takes elements from Mr. Slater's blueberry and peach cake and Nigella's Madeira cake. I was worried that I'd ballsed up the volume, as the cake had reached the 'scarily billowing towards the top of the tin' stage 20 minutes into baking. Happily it settled itself down five minutes later and all turned out splendidly.
Peach Melba Cake
220g softened unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
grated zest and juice of half a lemon
2 large eggs
A few drops of vanilla extract
175g self-raising flour
125g ground almonds
200g ripe peaches, roughly chopped or sliced
Butter and line a 1lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170C.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each egg, to stop curdling. Add the vanilla, then gently mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the almonds, then the peaches, then the raspberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepped loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If the top is turning too brown, put a loose piece of foil over the top of the cake for the last twenty minutes or so.
Cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then run a palette knife around the edges and turn the cake out onto the rack. Allow to cool completely.
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