Saturday, 28 January 2012

Peach Melba Slice

Okay, I'll willingly admit that until about a week ago I had no idea what "Peach Melba" was. After some quick googling I learned that Peach Melba is a dessert that pairs peach and raspberry - this isn't a traditional Peach Melba (usually a mix of the two lightly cooked with some ice cream or something along those lines) - but the flavours are perfect and since I made this last week it has been requested 3 times. I had a peach tree growing outside that I used at first and once that was exhausted I bought some from the supermarket - both were good. Give it a go - great for 'take a place' functions or for the office or just for morning tea.

250g pack unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
200g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
75g almonds
4-5 just ripe peaches, stoned, halved, then each half cut into 3
A few handfuls of frozen raspberries (you can use fresh too but they are generally more expensive!)
1 tbsp icing sugar, to finish

1. Butter and line a tray or small roasting tin, about 20 x 30cm. Heat oven to 180C. Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan (over low heat), cool for 5 mins. While you are waiting for it to cool, coarsely grind the almonds in a food processor, remove about a handful while they are barely chopped and reserve (for use later). Continue to process the almonds until they resemble coarse almond meal.

2. Add the sugar to the melted butter, beat lightly and then add vanilla and eggs (if you add the eggs to the butter when it is still hot the egg may cook – so don't cut corners!! Beat the mixture until smooth with a fork. Stir in the flour, the coarse almond meal (that you made in the processor) and ¼ tsp salt.

3. Tip the mix into the tin, then lay the peach slices evenly on top - that way each square of cake will have a bite of fruit (I like to use a lot of peach so I almost completely cover the surface with peaches). Scatter the raspberries (still frozen is fine) and the reserved coarsely chopped almonds over, then bake for 1 hr-1 hr 10 mins, covering with foil after 40 mins. Cool in the tin for 20 mins, then lift out onto a cooling rack. Once cold, lightly sift icing sugar over the slice (again, if you don't wait for the slice to cool the icing sugar will melt and become invisible) and then cut into squares.

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