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28 July 2015


This weekend, my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to have lunch at The Hand & Flowers in Marlow. The brainchild of the scandalously talented Tom Kerridge, the food was delicious and clever in equal measure.

I forgot my modesty as soon as I saw the pudding menu. Forgive me for whoring out my pud on social media, but the white peach souffle with tea sorbet and rosemary custard was - with no word of a lie - the best pudding I have ever eaten. That alone would have been worth the one year waiting list.

I can't get enough of ripe rosy peaches, and yesterday's pudding inspired me to buy a huge bag-full of soft flat white peaches from the local market this morning. Sweet, juicy and full of summer, white peaches are the perfect match for the tangy punch of British raspberries.

Upside down cakes are a great way to cook with seasonal fruits, and are really simple to make too. A quick caramel, sliced fruit and almond sponge can be thrown together in no time, and make a perfect pudding for a dappled al fresco supper, or a drizzly indoor one if today's weather is anything to go by.
I've been particularly drawn to quick bakes recently. More than ever I feel like I don't have the time in my life to be rising billowing piles of bread dough, or folding and resting and folding pastry all day long. There are so many other things that need to get done, and it can be hard to justify hours on end in the kitchen.

While my Kitchenaid and I remain happily married and just as in love as ever, I recently invested in a Tesco Basic TBHM14 hand mixer for those times that I just can't face washing up an extra set of bowls and mixers. It was just a couple of pounds, and comes with five speed settings so that you can adapt the speed to your recipe. A hand mixer is perfect for quickly beating together a sponge mixture such as this one.

200g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
4 flat white peaches
100g raspberries
200g butter
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
75g ground almonds
125g flour
3 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 180C and line the base of an 8 inch springform tin with baking parchment. 

For the caramel, add the sugar and salt to a large heavy-based pan with a few tablespoons of water. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar has melted and turned a deep amber colour. Carefully pour this into the base of the lined tin and set aside. Half lengthways and destone the peaches, then arrange cut side down on top of the caramel. Surround with the raspberries.

For the sponge, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and ground almonds, beat, then finish with the flour and baking powder. Once the mixture is smooth, pour over the fruit and caramel. Level, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden, and a knife comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Beware of hot caramel.

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