Dreams of Peach Cake
Why is it when I bake a coffee cake I get all dreamy and gooey inside, like a knee-socked school girl in Latin class, riveted to the patch of peachy, fuzzy cloud against the swaying swatch of blue between the maple tree branches outside the classroom window, imagining love itself is out there, waiting, breathing, just beyond reach, ready to pounce. Like grace. When you least expect it, a gift arrives.
Often in a form you don't recognize at first.
Like a plaid shirt.
And hands that juggle.
The truth is, I didn't even know juggling was on my list.
My top criteria (scrawled in gel black ink one rainy night post divorce) listed kindness, a sense of humor, artistic.
It conjured images of tempered masculinity. Intelligence. Adept at conversation. Curiosity.
Likes women (a big one).
It mentioned nothing about juggling. Or fierce devotion to coffee. Or a willingness to wash dishes. It neglected to include the seductive power of coffee cake. The sexy allure of a cinnamon dusted chin.
So imagine my surprise when on our second date (post French roast coffee and dirt bomb muffins) he grabs three apples. And juggles. While whistling. I can't remember the tune.
Because my knees turned to pudding.
And now, almost twenty years later, I hear a key in the door. And my heart is grateful. It's him. The guy in a plaid shirt.
And once more, I accept.
By Karina Allrich August 2011.
Karina's Gluten-Free Peach Coffee Cake Recipe with Cinnamon Streusel Topping
I added chopped organic pecans to this cinnamon infused streusel coffee cake topping. I love nuts. But if you prefer your streusel sans crunch- leave out the nuts. I won't tell.
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1 cup organic light brown sugar
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca or potato starch (not potato flour!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
5-6 tablespoons soy milk (or non-dairy milk), as needed
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 12 oz.)
For the streusel topping:
1/3 cup organic light brown sugar
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons chopped pecans (may omit)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a deep 9-inch cake pan with a piece of parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the dry ingredients: brown rice flour, light brown sugar, almond meal, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Add in the beaten eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons soy milk. Beat to combine.
The batter at this point will be stiff and sticky. Add more soy milk a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition, until the cake batter becomes loose and smooth. Humidity affects flours, so you may need more or less tablespoons liquid, depending upon your locale.
Scoop two thirds of the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth it out to the edges. Use wet hands if you need to.
Press half the peach slices into the batter.
Top with the remaining cake batter and smooth evenly- this layer will be thin.
Press the remaining peach slices into the top of the cake.
Make the streusel topping, combining the brown sugar, brown rice flour, coconut oil, chopped pecans (if using), and cinnamon. Mix until sandy.
Spread the streusel topping on the cake.
Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cake is set and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.
Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes. If the topping begins to brown too much (around the 25 to 30 minute mark) place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the cake to prevent it from browning too much. (I have a small wall oven that is very efficient, and my baked goods brown quickly.)
Cool the coffee cake on a wire rack.
Beyond fabulous slightly warm.
Slice, wrap in foil, and freeze uneaten cake slices in a freezer bag.
Cook time: 45 minutes Yield: 10 slices
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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Pat those peaches dry, Babycakes! And if you use frozen peaches, thaw them thoroughly- and really dry them. You don't want a soggy cake!
I used brown rice flour in this delicious cake- but sorghum flour will work equally well. I am finding that sorghum flour and brown rice flour are interchangeable in my recipes, so if you prefer one over the other- use what makes you happy.
For vegans and no-egg folks, an egg replacer will work in this recipe. See my Blueberry Crumb Cake recipe as an example.
I am in love with organic coconut oil. But if you would rather use butter, go ahead. Do your moo-cow thing. Just be sure and go organic.
I like soy milk in baking because the protein content helps gluten-free flours behave. But if you prefer using rice milk, almond milk, or even moo-cow milk, knock yourself out.
For nut-free- you'll need to experiment. I would suggest choosing a medium weight flour, like millet. If you use coconut flour, you'll need to adjust liquid and add an egg, I think.
As for sugar- I put light brown sugar in this coffee cake. It adds structure, improves texture, and and gives it a lovely flavor. Experiment with your favorite sugar subs, if you want to try making this cake sugar-free.