Week 25: Peachy Pecan Cake

This was one of those weeks. One of those weeks where I was crazy busy at work and after. I’m moving next weekend to my very own apartment, which I’m actually pretty ecstatic about; however, my personal to-do list has been just as long as my list at work.

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Rather than spending my evenings preparing my post for the week, I used my free time to schedule moving vans, set up my gas and electric services and negotiate wifi packages. The not fun adult things. I didn’t exactly want to write about cake after all of that.

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This week I’m forgoing my standard quippy copy to share with you something short and sweet, my own recipe for Peachy Pecan Cake. Yep my own recipe. I didn’t feel like finding one so I let the grocery aisle be my inspiration for this week.

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I ended up sharing this cake with my supervisor and her southerner boyfriend, to which it was met with rave reviews ;). Despite third party from the source feedback, this is definitely one of my favorites! Might I suggest bringing a slice or two to your next barbecue? I’m sure Scarlet O’Hara would not object.

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Peachy Pecan Cake

  • Servings: 10-14
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 13 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup of unbleached sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. almond flour
  • 1 c. pecans finely ground
  • 3/4 c. spelt flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 peaches halved and pealed
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 and line and grease a 10″ spring form pan with parchment paper. Peal and halve peaches, set aside.

Grind pecans into a fine meal in the food processor. Add the almond meal, spelt flour, lemon zest, salt and baking powder to the food processor. Pulse until combined.

In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, beat until combined

Fold the dry ingredients to the wet until no streaks show. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with peaches and chopped pecans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.

One the cake has cooled, remove it from the spring pan and allow to rest on the cooling rack.

Final thoughts on Peachy Pecan Cake:

  • I’m tired.
  • So so tired.

 

Week 24: Belated Birthday Carrot Cake

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This week’s cake was something special. For 23 weeks, my number one cooking inspiration, and biggest cheerleader behind the project has watched the Sweet Sweet Love cakes progress from afar without tasting a single slice of anything. Ehn-ee-thing. Nada.

This person is my mom.

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To make up for lost time, I let her pick this week’s recipe. While my mom is my raison d’etre in the kitchen, her mom was the same for her and it’s no accident that I fell hard for food and cooking—I have my matriarchy to thank for that.

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Week 23’s cake is inspired by the massive carrot cake my grandma used to make for my mom’s birthday when she was a kid, and since I missed her birthday in March, this was the perfect cake to make for my homecoming weekend.

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I set out to find the perfect recipe (including crushed pineapple!) by perusing my mom’s collection of cookbooks. Despite her love of cooking, she has a very modest selection of cookbooks, reserving a limited number of spots for the very best, most useful or books that hold sentimental value. After a handful of fruitless flips, I reached for Nourishing Traditions a classic health-foodie book she’s held on to but doesn’t use much because of the laborious recipes. I should’ve took this as a red flag warning!

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However, the book contained the perfect recipe, one which my mom and I agreed was pretty close to what my grandma used to make for her. If you’ve been following along, you might have picked up that while I have a major sweet tooth, I generally prefer to write and prepare recipes that err on the healthier side—subbing out refined and processed ingredients for alternative whole foods and decorating with nuts and fruits.

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The Nourishing Traditions carrot cake is definitely one of those recipes, but that’s me and that’s how I like to bake and like I said, I come by my preferences honestly. My mom has her degree in dietetics and my grandma was making her own yogurt and kombucha before it was cool.

I have to let you in on a little, well BIG actually, secret. I am terrible at reading recipes. This weekend was one of those instances where I read the title, glanced at the ingredients list and deemed it the perfect recipe. Directions? Who cares about directions?

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Let me give you a little piece of advice I should be following myself, before you invest time in tracking down difficult ingredients and brand spankin’ new cake pans, read the recipe and directions in full. This will save you SO much time and prevent adding that extra two tablespoons of sugar reserved for the frosting into the cake as well as unnecessary trips to multiple grocery stores.

This week, I did not head my own advice, and when I went to make the cake (several hours before serving) I finally read the first line of the recipe, “Add the flour, yogurt and cream. Set out bowl covered with cloth for 24 hours to ferment.” Oops.

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Needless to say, I made a 45 degree shift and found this recipe from epicurious and I read it in full before starting. For the frosting, I still made the recipe from Nourishing Traditions with honey as the sweetener.

The cake yielded a delicious delicate crumb full moisture from the carrots and pineapple. I ended up riffing, and one and a halving the recipe as well as tossing in a handful of toasted pecans for added texture. By one and a halving the ingredients, I was able to add one more layer to the cake, which resulted in your classic bakery cabinet triple layer carrot cake. I also used vanilla bean paste, rather than extract for a beautiful speckled cream cheese frosting.

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To top it off, and make it rather fancy, I cut little triangles out of carrots and snipped some thyme from the garden for the green tops. If you ask my mom, I’m sure she’d agree that this was a cake worth waiting for.

Final Thoughts on My Mom’s Belated Birthday Carrot Cake:

  • Read the recipe.
  • Read the recipe.
  • Read the recipe.
  • Repeat lines 1-3.

Week 22: Summer Pavlova with Fresh Grilled Berries

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For Memorial Day Weekend I took a little road trip to Michigan to visit my boyfriend’s family. And by little I mean approximately one hour and 45 minutes away. After living in the city, this seems like quite a distance in the car… anyways, after long car rides I typically find myself in the exact same place. The bathroom.

(They didn’t call me little tank on spring break for nothing).

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Week 21: Rhubarb, Candied-Hazelnut and Buckwheat Cake

I’ve mentioned or alluded to my favorite cake of the project so far several times. Very early on, week 8, I made the most divine plum pistachio and lemon cake from what’s become one of my favorite food blogs, The Brick Kitchen. I loved this cake so much, I’ve made my own adaptations and continued the unconventional trend of topping my cakes with fruit rather than frosting.

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This week’s cake gave week 8 a run for it’s money. Ok, ok week 8 still might be my favorite but this week’s rhubarb, candied-hazelnut and buckwheat cake was so so good.

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Week 18: Driscoll’s Strawberry Shortcake

I knew there would come a week in this project where I felt thoroughly unmotivated and unexcited about making cake. This week might have been one of those weeks.

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It’s not that I didn’t want to bake or spend time in the kitchen, it’s that I didn’t really want to bake cake. I found myself day dreaming about other types of projects, scones, biscotti, I even procrastinated the weekly task by spatchcocking a chicken (which I do not recommend unless you have a very very sharp kitchen knife and an iron stomach).

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Week 17: Chocolate Torta Soffice

I’ve never been a fan of goodbyes. Whether I’m the one leaving or it’s someone else, I usually end up choking back tears and feeling mopey about it for days.

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Case in point, I found out a few weeks ago one of my closest friends was moving to Minnesota for an amazing job opportunity (we’re talking actual childhood dream job!!!). Rather than being devastated about her impending departure, I distracted myself by researching potential cakes to serve at the going away party.

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