Although this very tasty and festive cake has several steps, each component beats together quickly without having to alternate wet with dry ingredients, nor does it require creaming butter with sugar. I also exchanged self-rising flour for the flour/leavening combo. As tempting as it may be to use divinely delicate and perfumed white peaches, they will be overwhelmed by the potency of the cardamom. I chose deeply golden yellow fruit with great success. The texture of the cake itself is very moist, and would be just as delicious served plain without the glaze nor the pistachios. It is the occasional burst of sweet cardamom in the brown sugar crust that is the chief surprise in an otherwise very casual and comforting coffee cake.
Peach Coffee Cake with Double Crust of Cardamom and Pistachio - Adapted from the Betty Crocker Recipe
Ingredients for Cake
2 cups self-raising cake flour
3/4 cups natural granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups chopped, nearly ripe yellow peaches, skins left on
Method for Cake
In a large bowl, beat all ingredients except peaches together until they make a smooth, thick batter. Will a large wooden spoon, fold in chopped peaches. Prepare an 8 X 8-inch square or 8-inch round pan It is best to use a cake pan with a height of 3 inches; the cake will rise considerably when baking. Grease all internal surfaces of pan with cooking spray. Lay into the pan a long piece of aluminum foil which will generously extend beyond the sides of the pan when tightly lining it in.. If you are using a round pan, extra care must be taken to smooth the foil as much as possible; not every inch of the pan sides will be covered in foil. Grease all foil surfaces lining the pan. The hangover foil with serve to help lift the cake from the pan; the cake will be very heavy. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top evening.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Ingredients for Crust 1
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons very fresh ground green cardamom powder
2 tablespoons salted butter
Method for Crust 1
In a medium bowl, rub and toss all ingredients with your fingertip until the mixture resembles a uniform crust. Reserve.
Ingredients for Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk, any fat content
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Method for Glaze
In a small ball, beat all ingredients until sugar dissolves and a smooth, fluid texture is achieved. Reserve.
Ingredient for Crust 2
1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped. Reserve.
Baking and Post-Baking Method
Sprinkle Crust 1 evenly on top of raw batter in pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. At 40 minutes, check cake for doneness by piercing center of it with skewer almost touching bottom of pan. If skewer is withdrawn clean, cake is done. If not, return cake to oven to bake in 5-minute intervals, checking after each interval. Do not bake longer than 50 minutes, nor be concerned that crumb top will be very brown. Remove carefully from oven to a cooling rack. Leave undisturbed for 15 minutes of cooling.
Have ready a serving plate large enough to accommodate the cake. Carefully grip both foil hangovers and very slowly lift cake from pan and transfer to plate, leaving foil intact. Allow to cool another 15 minutes. Slide a very large and wide pancake turner between the cake and foil. With one hand, lift cake just enough to slide foil out from underneath with other hand. Leave cake to cool completely, up to 1 hour.
With a pastry brush, remove excess crumbs from top of cake. Pour glaze over top, spreading it to the edges so that it drips down the sides. The cake will be unattractive at this point. Spread glaze drips on sides to lightly cover. With your hands, lightly dust and press chopped pistachios (Crust 2) on top and sides of cake. Allow to set for 20 minutes. Cut cake with a serrated knife. Cake is better when it matures overnight.
This peach-happy cake is my contribution to Priya's Veggie/Fruit and Month - Peaches, which I hosted during August. The round-up will be online tomorrow, but I will accept any peachy latecomers until publish time. Priya's host for September is Tiffin Carriers Antic/que's! who is featuring Cauliflower. Please consult Priya of Mharora Rjasthan's Recipes, creator of VFAM for full rules.