Peach Polka Dot Caramel Cake
(click above to get the recipe for this winning cake)
Joyce of Kitchen Flavours started this group and Emily of Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray selected this cake from the book, we are baking from,Coffee Cakes, simple, sweet and savory by Lou Seibert Pappas. As far as I am concerned, we have made a lot of successful coffee cakes, since we started sharing together. Please contact Joyce if you would like participate too. Joyce leads a number of groups which you might want to check out. Have fun.
I made mine with peaches which Pappas said to slice but I just divided them into two pieces each. I was a little concerned because the peach had to be pushed down a bit further and I was afraid that it was going to push its way up. Hurrah. It was just fine.
I could not locate my two piece tart pan so I made this in a pie plate. I had no problem getting it out, I am happy to say. Too often, I have visions of half a cake or pie stuck to the bottom.
I do love peaches and in this case, they blended well, with everything else in the cake. The topping with the almonds made a good counterpoint to the fruit.I am using this recipe for two events, the Home Bakers and for the Improv Challenge, organized by our bloggy friend, Kristen. Actually, Kristen is one of the first people I met, when I started blogging. I was thrilled to join in the fun at our monthly challenge of cooking dishes with two specified ingredients.
This month, the two ingredients are Peaches and Herbs. Kristen explains what herbs are and I must admit, not too long ago, I did confuse spices and herbs. Now, that I grow my own herbs, I understand the difference although, I still tend to call them by the wrong names. Shame on me.
I am including a good explanation from Culinary Arts at About.com. I apologize for it being a little long but it handles the topic well and I think, is worth reading.
"Definition: What are herbs? In the culinary arts the word herb refers to any green or leafy part of a plant used for seasoning and flavoring a recipe, but not used as the main ingredient.
What exactly does this mean? Here's an example. Spinach is the green part of a plant, but spinach is a vegetable, not an herb, because spinach is prepared as a food itself, not merely to add flavoring to another food. Similarly, a leaf of lettuce is the green part of a plant, but when you make a salad, the lettuce is the main ingredient, so lettuce isn't an herb either.
So what is an herb? Examples of herbs are basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and dill. Note that for each of these, we're talking about the green or leafy part of some kind of plant. In the case of basil, the leaves can be quite large, whereas rosemary leaves or more like spines. Still, they're the leafy or green part of the plant and thus an herb.
So what exactly is the difference between an herb and a spice? We already know that an herb is the green part of a plant used for seasoning or flavoring. A spice is pretty much anything else — for instance, any dried bark, root, berry, seed, twig or other plant matter that is used to season or flavor a dish. Examples: Cinnamon is the bark of a tree. Cardamom is a seed pod. Allspice is a dried berry. Cloves are dried flower buds. These are all examples of spices. Note too that spices are used in dried form while herbs can be used either fresh or dried.