This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Michelle of Fool for Food: Dimply Plum Cake. I was at home with my parents these past few days, so I had to work with what was on hand. They didn't have any plums, but they did have plenty of peaches so I went with Dorie's suggestion to adapt the recipe into a Lemon Basil Dimply Peach Cake instead.
I also didn't have any vanilla extract, so I used a vanilla bean instead. Look at those beautiful flecks of vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest! :)
This cake was just okay for me. I'm not sure why, because it seems like all the other TWD bakers loved it. The flavors of the lemon and basil in this cake were wonderful, but I found the cake itself to be very dry. Perhaps I overbaked it? I used a 9-inch pan instead of an 8-inch pan and still baked it for the full 40 minutes, but I tried to check it early and it did not test done at 30 minutes. I probably should have tested it again at 35 minutes. Or maybe it was because I used unbleached flour? If you have any ideas, let me know.
I've included the adapted recipe below, as I made it. If you would like the original recipe, you can find it here (with recipe tips here). Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed this dimply little treat.
Sorry this post is a bit shorter than usual, but I've been out of town for a few days to attend my grandmother's funeral and barely had the chance to get this done. It's still hard to believe that she's gone, even though we knew her time left with us was short (she had liver cancer). It was only by God's grace that she passed away without any pain or suffering. We find solace knowing that she is in a better place now.
Lemon Basil Dimply Peach Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (alternatively, you can use unsalted butter and 1/4 tsp salt)
5 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or sunflower
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeded - learn how here (or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
2 large peaches, halved and pitted
3 basil leaves, finely chopped
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet. (I used a 9-inch pan so my cake was thinner - consequently, I had to slice off the bottoms of my peaches so they wouldn't be popping up over the cake. My peaches were about 1-inch thick/tall after I sliced them.)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each egg goes in. Still working on medium speed, beat in the oil, zest and vanilla bean seeds—the batter will look smooth and creamy, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Add the chopped basil and run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, mixing just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the peaches cut side up in the batter and jiggle the peaches a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes—during which time the plums’ juices will seep back into the cake—then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
Storing: You can wrap the cake and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days, during which time it will get softer and moister.
Yield: 8 servings