Actually, that's a blatant lie. There are no peaches in this cake at all, it's just that there were supposed to be, and 'peaches and cream' somehow sounds better than 'apricots and cream'. Or it does to me anyway.
Right, I'll stop rambling about the relative merits of the names of stone fruits when combined with the word 'cream' and tell you more about this rather attractive and delicious cake. I was lucky enough to receive many lovely presents over Christmas (was that really only a month ago? - it seems a lifetime ago now!) but not a single cookery book. I'm not complaining in the slightest. I think my family have (rightly) given up buying me cookery books because they assume that I will probably already own them. This is a pretty safe assumption, because when publishers release their 'Christmas' (it feels so, so wrong to be talking about Christmas in January!) crop of cookery books around September time, I am powerless to resist buying them for even a few weeks, let alone wait months for Christmas to come. So it's pretty inevitable that I have already aquired the books I'm interested in by the time Christmas rolls around.
Where is this leading? Well, Random Recipes is where! This month's theme is 'New Year, New Book'. Shortly after Christmas I found myself in a book shop.... and shortly after that I found myself a few pounds poorer and a cookery book richer. The book in question was Edd Kimber's 'The Boy Who Bakes'. For those not already aware, Edd was the winner of the first series of the Great British Bake Off (much enjoyed by me, and millions of others!). He blogs over at The Boy Who Bakes so head over to see some of his recipes.
My random recipe from this book was the aforementioned Peaches and Cream Upside-Down cake. Edd says this would be a lovely recipe for a summer afternoon, and I'm sure it would, but with only minor tweaks it was a lovely recipe for a wet January day too. Edd's tip at the bottom of the recipe is that you can make the recipe yours by using all sorts of different fruit. In my cake I decided to use apricots. Now, apricots are just as much out of season round these parts as peaches, but I used tinned apricots. This may sound slightly over the top, but using tinned apricots was a revelation. Tinned peaches really don't have very much flavour at all (although I do actually happen to quite enjoy them!) but apricots seem to fare much better when tinned.
So how did it go and how did it taste?
The recipe calls for the grated zest of an orange, and I was worried that this would completely overpower the fruit, but actually it was one of those wonderful occasions where the flavours were complementary and more than the sum of their parts, which I really hadn't expected. Because I had such a large orange, I did only use the zest of half and felt that this was just right. I used one 400g tin of apricots, drained, in place of the specified peaches.
The cream of the recipe name is in the form of soured cream in the batter, which adds a beautiful richness to the cake, to contrast with the freshness of the fruit flavours. There is also a caramel topping, but once again I am reminded that I must either invest in a solid tin, or some all-in-one liners, because the majority of the caramel escaped from my tin. Luckily I had anticipated this and covered the outside of the tin with foil to catch the sticky juices.
My cake took rather longer than the specified 55 minutes to bake (I probably gave it an extra 15-20 mins covered with foil) but it was well worth the wait. I was so pleased with the way the apricots looked arranged on the top of the cake - it reminded me of the rays of the sun, and was just what I needed on a dull January day to remind me that the sun still exists, even if hidden for now. A really lovely cake, a worthy submission to Dom's challenge and I'm looking forward to making more of the recipes in the book.