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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peach vanilla bean bundt cake

Tonight I got together with my camp friends.  I've know these girls since the beginning of the summer of 1993.  That's 19 years!  Every once in a while we try to get us all together.  Recently I saw my friend J after she completed the NYC Triathlon (!!) and celebrated her early birthday, and I saw my friend E and her fiancee for drinks in the city a few weeks ago.  Before that, L opened an adorable kid's clothing store, Picnic, and L & E and I went to the opening.  (As an aside, if you're in the Brooklyn Heights area and looking for kids clothing, check out Picnic).  But tonight was the first time in a long time that all 5 of us were together.

Originally I thought that I'd make cupcakes.  I was going to do one for L, the expectanct mom, with a onesie on it.  One for the other L, whose daughter just turned one, I was going to have a big fondant "1" on it.  For E, a bridal themed one, since she's getting married at the end of September.  And then 3 birthday-themed ones - one for J whose birthday was a week and a half ago, one for L (the expectant mom), whose birthday is the 26th...and then one for me, since my birthday is this week.  And although cupcakes would transport easily, thanks to my handy cupcake packaging that I bought (check out the minis here....I also have full-sized ones), I was afraid the heat would melt the icing on my trek from Manhattan to New Jersey....on public transportation!  I had a bunch of other summer-themed ideas for the rest of the cupcakes, but it didn't matter.  I needed something summery and tasty but that wouldn't melt on my journey.

Enter the bundt cake.  A summery flavored bundt cake that had one of my favorite things in it....peaches!  So I did something so very un-Julie, and made it today for the first time....to bring to them tonight.  I snuck a taste of the bottom (shhh!  Don't tell the ladies!) and it was really good...I'm thinking of renaming it the "Peaches and Cream" bundt cake, since it tastes like peaches and cream....and thats before I put on the peach soaking syrup!

Peach Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Peach Soaking Syrup
(or Peaches and Cream Bundt Cake)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds (save the pod for something else)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2  cups diced fresh peaches (peeled)

For the syrup:
1/3 cup fresh peach puree, strained (I strained mine after I made the syrup....oops.  But it worked)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350.
Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan (In the notes it said to make sure you grease and flour well, so I used baking Pam and then ALSO floured the pan.  It worked....it literally slipped out as I was inverting it.  But thankfully it didn't fall and stayed perfectly intact....minus a little inch by half inch section that fell off).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes.
Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition.
Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Beat in vanilla bean (the scraped seeds).
At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream.

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.  In reading the notes at the bottom, I read that you can fold the peaches into the batter instead of layering them.  I thought this might be safer considering the voyage the cake has to take today.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine peach puree, sugar, and orange juice in a small non reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove pan from heat.
Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying.
Let the cake cool completely.

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