With the abundance of sweet, juicy peaches, it is the perfect time to make these darling little cakes. They not only look good, they taste peachy keen, too. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) In fact, they’re so good that I’ve baked them twice over the past 4 days. They’re also quick and simple to make, with a “couch to mouth” time of 45 minutes, including five minutes of cooling time. Not bad for a somewhat fancy-looking dessert. Top it with some French Vanilla ice cream, and you’ll be in for an unforgettable summer treat. I promise!
For the topping, peaches and ginger make a surprisingly wonderful combination. The crystallized, or candied, ginger gives a hint of spice and some zing to the sweet, caramelized peaches. The cakes are light, not overly sweet, and have a slightly nutty taste, thanks to the addition of almond flour in the batter. A sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds would have added a nice bit of crunch, but I was in too much of a hurry to eat one to think of any additional garnish.
Aside from peaches, other stone fruits such as nectarines, apricots, and plums would undoubtedly work with this dessert, as well.
Individual Peach Upside Down Cakes
Yields 4 servings
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
2 medium peaches, peeled*
1 to 2 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (available at most grocery stores or make your own using this recipe)
2-1/2 ounces (approximately 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond flour (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
Toasted slivered almonds, for garnish
Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 tablespoon of butter in each of the 4 six-ounce ramekins. (Alton Brown’s recipe calls for dividing 3 tablespoons of butter between 4 ramekins, but I like more caramel sauce to coat the peaches and to seep into the cakes.) Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside. Evenly sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar over the butter. Cut each peach into 12 pieces. Evenly divide and lay the peaches on top of the brown sugar. Sprinkle desired amount of crystallized ginger on top of the peaches. (I used about 1/2 tablespoon per cake.) Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well-combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, almond extract and the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir just until combined; the batter might be a bit lumpy. Pour the batter over the peaches; dividing the mixture evenly between the dishes. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown on top and the cake reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven to a rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Run an offset spatula or knife around the edge of each dish and turn upside down onto a serving plate. Repeat with each cake. Serve immediately with toasted almonds and whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
*Note: I used a vegetable peeler to peel the peaches and it worked well for me, but many cooks use this method, to varying success.
Adapted from Alton Brown
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