Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spicy peach "bread"

Among all At First Glass' posts, this was the whopper of whoppers as far as page views were concerned -- close to 5,000 I think. It's all because the Pillsbury people found it and featured it on their blog for one day.

Much more like a peach cake. As Madeleine Kamman sniffs -- and she rarely sniffs, but here I think she does -- in the great New Making of a Cook, "Coming as I do from Europe, I have always had a lot of trouble understanding why quick breads, which contain so much sugar, can be called breads. For me and pretty much all Europeans, they are a heavier form of cake, truly cakes not breads."

Note, a "heavier form of cake." And she is probably right. Perhaps the simple and unexciting reason our quick breads are so called is because we bake them in loaf pans, and so they come out looking breadish.

What follows is a recipe for a spiced peach nut (bread) cake, heavy indeed with sugar, fruit, and eggs, and not anything that our Madeleine is responsible for. It's from the Pillsbury company's "Simply From Scratch -- Volume 3" booklet, published in 1981. I'm glad to report it calls unabashedly for canned peaches (and their syrup), which are so easy to work with and tasty too. I went so far as to choose canned chopped peaches, which were easier still. They were "the bomb," isn't that the word?

Spicy peach cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cloves (I threw caution to the winds and added the same amount of cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (16 oz. can) peaches, spiced if desired, drained and chopped, syrup reserved
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 or and 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. (Aha.)

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, spices, butter, eggs, peaches and 1/2 cup reserved syrup. Beat well. Stir in nuts.

Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 40 t0 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from pan, and cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tsp reserved syrup

Drizzle over the cake.

Notice the glaze is rather thin, and the finished cake, as good as it is, not the most attractive-looking thing in the world. Perhaps another reason why we call such confections by the humble name of bread?

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