July 9, 2008

Peach Streusel Cake

I’ve been baking for a very long time. But there have been times when I really need a push to break away from my comfort zone. Baking with yeast was one such turning point. Making cookies was another. Making cakes with fresh fruit has been a third. The only thing I really ever did with our summer bounty each year was to fill our fruit boxes with them. Every once in a while, I’ve made some shakes or stews, but I didn’t venture beyond that. I’ve used apples and pineapples in pies, but almost never in a cake.

Then it happened. I was chatting with my namesake after a trip to Madras and was telling her about the stuff that I took to my parents’ place. I always feel I have to share my summer bounty with them. I sent a kilo each of peaches, litchis, apricots and cherries with S when he visited Hyderabad and I did quite the same when I visited my parents. Just that I always take extra peaches to Amma. Arundati asked me why I was wasting these fruits in a milk shake when I, the “baby baker” as she calls me, could do a lot more.

I thought about various options and finally made this peach streusel cake. It was gone in no time. I know I’ll make this again before these blushing beauties go out of season. The only change I’d make to this recipe is to use more peaches. So, please feel free to add another peach or two. This is the recipe that I followed.

2 cups Flour
6 tbsp Oil
¾ cup Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg, beaten
2/3 cup Milk
4 Peaches, peeled and sliced

For the Streusel Topping:

¼ cup Butter
½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Flour

1 tbsp Icing Sugar for dusting

Grease and line two 8-inch cake tins. Mix together the ingredients for the streusel topping.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar together. Add the oil, milk and beaten egg and whisk together. Divide the batter between the two cake tins. Arrange the peach slices on top of the batter and sprinkle the streusel topping over the fruit layer.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

We enjoyed this cake fresh out of the oven and it tasted great when cool as well. I didn’t dust any icing sugar as I thought the cake was very sweet already! During my trip to Madras, I made Almond Raisin Muffins, Mava Cake, and Carrot Cake for my parents and brother. But as it turned out, Amma’s baking powder didn’t seem to work and I was left with very tasty, but flat, cakes and muffins. I sent this with S when he visited Madras on work and I am really happy my folks were able to enjoy it.

This cake has come about thanks to my dear namesake, Arundati. We’re two girls who have more in common than we even know. We’ve lived in the same cities, the family background that we came from and some facts about the guys we’re married to are uncannily similar, we’re about the same age and our husbands are the same age, we have similar interests and qualifications, we have the same initials and almost identical handwriting, and to a large extent, similar views on life, food included!). She sent me packed dinner along with a host of other things when she was told that S was in her city for a day.

She’s a gem of a person and I am so glad to have found her. As she celebrates her birthday, I’m sending this little cake her way. It isn’t half as elaborate as the ones she makes for her loved ones, but it is filled with all good things, peaches and love. Happy birthday!


arundati said...

OMG!! you've made my day so special!! thanks going to go all soppy now...............

FH said...

YUM! I love Struesel cake. Good one Raaga. Take care, see you in Sept!:))

Rachel said...

Wow arundathi..that was a nice gesture for your namesake....the cake looks great too

sunita said...

Raaga, the cake looks wonderful...lucky Aru :-P

Divya Kudua said...

Yummy cake Raaga...Peaches in a cake does sounds very innovative!!You both seem to share a very special bond..!!Nice gesture for a nice friend,great entry!!

ranji said...

lovely aru...this one is in my must try list :)...delicious

Uma said...

delicious peach cake!

Pooja said...

that is one wonderful piece of cake raaga :) .
And i loved the recipe of spring onion Jhunka too very much :) .
It is always wonderful to have someone same as ourself to get as a friends , isn't it ? I can read your thought in your post :) . have fun girl .

Sailaja said...

Nice cake. Something is waiting for u in my blog

amna said...

that is so sweet! i used to confuse the two of you a lot initially too :)

Indian Khana said...

Wonderful cake...very nice indeed & love reading your thoughts....

Seema said...

Lovely cake!! What a nice gift for a friend!

Hey! Have a surprise for u on my blog.. check it out.

Laavanya said...

That looks great Raaga...
Nice to hear how you both are so similar and have become such friends.

Miri said...

Beautiful! and how on earth do you peel a peach!!!