Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Peach Cake with Pecans

Ramadan just ended here in Istanbul and the end is always celebrated with a gathering of family where lots of food is served. 
We are celebrating Bayram, or the holiday, at my grandmother's house today. I wanted to bake her something as she just got out of the hospital and I love to contribute to occasions like this. She is pre-diabetic however, so I knew it had to be sugar-free. Instead of relying on one of my old standbys like banana bread or cheesecake, I thought I would try this peach cake by my favorite TV chef of all time, Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa). That way I would get to utilize the great fresh summer peaches in season right now as well. 
Unfortunately, I failed to notice beforehand that the sugar is used to caramelize the peaches, so half-way through, I had to scrap making the diabetic version and start over because diabetic sugar doesn't caramelize. It burns. And I hate it. The diabetic sugar won the battle, but the war isn't over! 

I started over and used normal sugar the second time around. The cake turned out beautifully. You see, this cake calls for a layer of peaches sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon in the center of the cake, as well as a layer of peaches on top, with the addition of pecans. The peach layer in the center is delicious and adds just the right amount of creaminess

Before baking. 
I would strongly recommend this recipe if you are invited to a brunch one day or even as a lighter summer dessert. It's not light calorie-wise, but the fact that it includes summer peaches makes you feel a little less guilty about indulging. After all, there's fruit inside! 

I didn't make any changes to the recipe except for one:
- They don't sell sour cream in Istanbul (or I couldn't find it), so I used strained Turkish yogurt(süzme yoğurt) instead. I think it might have been a little thicker than sour cream, but it did the job. 

Note: Watch this cake carefully as the pecans on top tend to brown quickly and you don't want them to burn, as mine sort of did. I did cover the cake with foil once the top had sufficiently browned. 

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