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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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Wednesday
Aug032011

cornmeal cake with peaches + rosemary

I find it appropriate that I am following up a post about summer tomatoes with a post about summer peaches. Brian and I have long had the argument over which is our favorite summer fruit, with him typically landing on the tomato side of the line and me on the peach. It is a close race, for sure. Both are delicious only during their season, each overlapping the other during July and August in Virginia. We rarely eat tomatoes outside of summer, and never peaches, unless we've put some away in jars and freezer bags. The limited window of availability makes peaches and tomatoes all the more special, precious even, and we indulge ourselves in both when they are available. Right now, as I write this, there are roughly 20 pounds of peaches and 30 pounds of tomatoes spread across my dining room. 50 pounds of fruit, friends. I think we have a problem...

After venturing out to Chiles Peach Orchard with a girlfriend a few days ago, I found the first thought swirling through my head involved a dense, peach-topped, breakfast-y cake. A cake with some heft; a good base to start the morning off just right. After some searching I came across Emeril's Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake with Poached Peaches...(the name goes on...), and modified it to suit my own desire for a simple, one-component breakfast cake. I am so very, very pleased with the result. The rosemary-scented cornmeal crumb is dense and savory with moments of crunch and highlights of salt. It sounds strange, I know, but there really are occasional bites that taste salty, while the majority offer a mild sweetness courtesy of the honey and fruit. It is a cake full of wonderful contrasts; sweet paired with salty, the crunch of cornmeal with the softness of peaches.

I wouldn't pigeonhole this cake into the dessert category; it really could pass as a cornbread side dish at a backyard barbecue. But I think the perfect place for it would be brunch...where savory sweets are wanted and expected. It is a new favorite in our house, for sure, and even further muddies the race between the tomato and the peach...

Cornmeal Cake with Peaches + Rosemary

adapted from Emeril Lagasse via Food Network

serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp minced, fresh rosemary
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced thinly (1/8-inch thick)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan. (next time I will use a springform pan so that I can remove the cake whole)
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the cornmeal and the rosemary. 
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, milk, olive oil, and lemon zest with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the sugar and honey, and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and top with the peach slices.
  4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. If using a springform pan you can remove the cake whole, otherwise you can slice it in the pan and remove individual slices to serve.

« blueberry scones with lime glaze | Main | tomato + goat cheese tart with rosemary crust »

Reader Comments (16)

Absolutely stunning photos. Not to mention a mouth watering recipe. LOVE!

08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

What a gorgeous cake, I love how the peaches are beautifully arranged,and the pinkish tinge they have where the stone was. So beautiful! Your photos are absolutely stunning too.

I found your blog via foodgawker and am so glad I did, it's stunning! I'll be back.

This looks amazing...so tempting! Loved your blog and shall look forward to more of your posts!!

08.5.2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurabi naha

Your blog is gorgeous! Your photography is stunning, seriously. On top of that, this cake looks delicious. Looking forward to exploring more on your site!

what a beautiful cake, and different too. I bet the flavors are absolutely delicious!

08.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

Beautiful! I've been wanting to make a cornmeal cake like this, thank you for sharing the recipe. Now I can't wait for some yummy peaches!

08.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

Thank you, all! I hope you'll give me feedback if you try the recipe! :)

08.7.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

You read my thoughts! :)
As I was going through your post I was thinking that this cake was perfect for a brunch... It looks delicious, so summery!
If I had to pick my favorite summer fruit it would have to be cherries. Cannot wait for them to arrive here in December!

08.9.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Scarpin

What a brilliant combination of flavors! Stunning photos, too.

08.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCookie and Kate

This cake looks so lovely! I can't wait to get my hand on some local peaches - it's been a slow summer out here, but I'm waiting patiently!

08.11.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

That looks beautiful, delicious, and perfect. Thank you!

08.11.2011 | Unregistered Commentercarri

I've been wanting to find sweeter recipes to use some of my rosemary - this sounds so delicious! And Virginia peaches just can't be beat right now.

08.15.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrandi

My husband adores peaches to the point that he planted a peach tree in our front yard. And I have to have a tomato patch every year. AndI I spend a good bit of time every summer putting both up to get us through the winter.

08.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

gorgeous photos and I love the combination of flavours. I've just seen another gorgeous cornmeal/polenta cake on 'At Down Under' but I don't like oranges soI'm thinking up other flavour combos so I can try the recipe, in the meantime I think I might try your recipe. Although, I think I'd feel rather decadent having this for breakfast! Maybe it's a Sunday breakfast cake, as you can always have naughty breakfasts on Sundays :)

08.21.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjas

I love the photography for these recipes and the obvious passion in the writings. The Cornmeal cake looked so good I had to make it. I opted to bake it in a cast iron pan on my Big Green Egg grill and it turned out fantastic. My only problem was making only one batch. I plan on making this again for the Labor Day holiday; this time two batches. :)

08.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

I've booked this recipe in to make in the weekend - will link to you on my blog when I do! Thanks for the recipe - just what I was after - not too sweet, with cornmeal, and rosemary from the garden. Peaches are JUST coming into season here (NZ) so I am looking forward to more of these sorts of recipes :)

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