Today is Foodie Reflections’ blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s been two years since I first started this blog because I missed writing. My first post on April 6, 2008, was a restaurant review with no photos. At that time I didn’t have a clear direction of the blog’s focus and, to be honest, still don’t. Turns out I don’t like rules, even ones that are self-imposed (shocking, I know).
I generally post recipes because cooking truly is my passion. But I also enjoy sharing stories about my family, holiday traditions, foodie events, or anything relevant in the food world. I’ve taken you with me to Paris, Costa Rica, New Orleans, San Francisco and Florida. There was even a guest post from my sister about her experience hosting her first family holiday. What has remained constant is that it all revolves food.
I need to thank Dan Nielsen (AKA Anna-the-Culinary-School-Dropout’s husband) for being the most unbelievable tech guy! Dan got me started after I told Anna of my plans to start a blog despite having absolutely no clue where to begin. He put up with me through redesigns, specific color criteria (how was I supposed to know he’s color blind?), and my “breaking” the blog on more than one occasion. Dan even created a nifty tool to add printable recipes to the site and it will be up and running as soon as I complete the stuff that needs to be done on my end. Seriously, if anyone out there needs a tech person, Dan’s your man!
Now, on to the food, what I know you really come here for. I was lucky last week to be contacted by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas (not related to tech guy Dan Nielsen, I don’t think…). They’re a local vanilla company that makes the most unbelievable products and I was thrilled when they offered to send me samples of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Sugar, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste (retail value approximately $37).
Of course, I didn’t tell them that I had half a bottle of the vanilla bean paste in my cabinet – I seriously LOVE that stuff!
I’ve already made a few dishes using their products and will post one of their savory recipes later this week, but in honor of my blogiversary celebration I just had to share this amazing Vanilla Peach Cake with you! What type of celebration would it be without cake???
The recipe was adapted from Epicuious and provided the perfect opportunity to use one of the jars of peaches I painfully canned last summer then promptly forgot about, along with the vanilla extract and vanilla sugar.
Here’s the recipe for Vanilla Peach Cake:
Vanilla Peach Cake – serves 8 (adapted from Epicurious)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned peaches in light syrup, drained and diced, juice reserved
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and wrap a piece of foil around the bottom to prevent leaking. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 2 tablespoons and mix with the diced peaches in a separate bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add half the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream and lemon zest. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until incorporated being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fold the diced peaches into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap it a few times on the counter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 10 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then run a knife around the outer edge of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan.
While the cake is baking, pour the reserved peach syrup into a small pot and set it over very low heat. Let the syrup reduce until thick, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes for about 35 minutes total. (I started with 3/4 cup syrup and reduced it to 2 tablespoons.)
While the cake is still warm, spoon the syrup evenly over the top then sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Let the cake cool to room temperature and serve.
Note: this cake can be made a day in advance (I think it’s even better the second day).