June 22, 2008

Ginger Peach Streusel Cake


for the cake:

2 cups flour
2 cups sliced fresh peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 drops ginger extract*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature

for the streusel:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat the oven to 375. Butter and flour or spray with cooking spray with flour 1 standard loaf pan or a 8 inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and ginger extract. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and sour cream. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour until a thick dough forms. Carefully fold in sliced peaches. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together all of the streusel ingredients until a rough crumb forms. You can achieve this by using a fork, pulsing a food processor or briefly mixing with an electric mixer. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the raw cake. Bake about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove to a wire tack to cool. After about 5 minutes, release the cake from the pan and serve.

*I used the potent ginger extract from Supreme Spice. You could substitute fresh or ground ginger to taste.

My thoughts:
When I told my husband I was thinking about making a fruity coffee cake, his one request was that it had struesel. Who doesn't love streusel? My only cavaet in regards to streusel is that it can't contain an obscene amount of butter. I've seen recipes that call for nearly a cup of butter just in the topping! While this cake is really rich tasting it only uses 1/2 cup of butter (one stick, for my US readers) divided between the streusel and the cake.

Now it is a teensy bit early for peaches, but that's okay for this recipe. The long stint in the oven softens and sweetens them, so if you are like me and starved for some Summer fruit, go ahead and use those first peaches. I think the cake is better than it would have been if I went with my first impluse and used cherries.

If ginger isn't a classic pairing with peaches, it should be. The warming spice really accents the peaches' natural sweetness and keeps the cake from tasting overly sweet. I find that ground ginger I purchase at Asian markets has a stronger and more true to life flavor than the ground gingers I've purchased at the supermarket. It generally also cheaper, fresher and packaged in larger quanities so if you see it, it is worth picking up.