August 29, 2008

Peach Upside Down Cake (on the grill)

2 cups sliced peaches
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, divided use
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

In a large bowl, beat 7 tablespoons of butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, beat thoroughly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and dry ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. The batter should be very fluffy. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom and sides of a heavy duty 8 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the butter, top with peach slices.

Make sure the peaches are evenly distributed in the pan, then top with cake batter. Smooth the cake batter to all of the edges and make sure no peaches are peeking out.

Place a 8x8 square disposable heavy duty baking pan on the bottom of your charcoal grill and arrange the coals on either side. Pour water in the pan to the halfway point.

Place the cake tin on the center of the grate, over the disposable tin. This will allow your cake to cook evenly on indirect heat.

Close the lid but leave the vents open for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, then invert to serve.

My thoughts:
my grill friday

This is my last "My Grill Friday" post for the year! I wanted to make something a little unexpected for the last post and tossed around a lot of ideas before settling on cake. Once I decided on making a cake, an upside-down cake seemed the perfect choice because there would be no need for icing; it could be made entirely on the grill and without heating up the house.

The cake itself is very light and fluffy and the peaches are perfectly soft and caramelized. There isn't a smoky flavor at all, just the fresh sweetness of the peaches and the tender cake. It reminded me of the Baltimore classic peach cake where a vanilla-based cake is topped with peach wedges, only more caramelized and decadent.

*Note: While it may be tempting, I would not recommend cooking anything else on the grill at the same time as you are making this cake. Meat splatter issues aside, it cooks on a relatively low temperature that would be a mind-numbling slow way to cook raw meat and you would run the risk of cross contamination.