I have held onto this post for three days now simply because, there it is again, pesky Writer’s Block. Refusing to wait any longer, I set out to find inspiration in the form of quotes about peaches. Instead, I found quotes from James and the Giant Peach. That’s a book I have not thought about in quite a long while, which saddens me given it contains statements like, “I’d rather be fried alive and eaten by Mexicans.” For the record, I would not.
“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.” ― Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach
I loved Roald Dahl’s books when I was a kid. The first I ever read was Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, followed closely by Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Just the other night the newer version of the movie was on television. I still cannot decide if I like the newer Johnny Depp version or the older Gene Wilder version better. Each are creepy in their own right. How about you?
“Poor Earthworm,’ the Ladybird said, whispering in James’s ear. ‘He loves to make everything into a disaster. He hates to be happy. He is only happy when he is gloomy.” - Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach
I know I have read George’s Marvelous Medicine, but I can not for the life of me remember anything about it. Same goes for Danny Champion of the World. I gave my niece a Matilda book the last time I saw her, though I should probably stop giving nothing but books as gifts. I am likely on track to become known as the aunt who gives boring gifts. Did you have a favorite Roald Dahl book?
I never read Revolting Recipes, but I am so amused by the title I might check it out soon. Rest assured, this Peach Coffee Cake is anything but revolting. The peaches lend just the right amount of sweetness and contribute to its soft crumb. The sugar-cinnamon–nut filling lends the perfect spice and crunch to the soft cake. It makes for a lovely breakfast (that is another thing I should probably stop doing – eating sweets for breakfast), afternoon snack or evening dessert.
And wouldn’t you know it, Roald Dahl’s grandaughter Sophie Dahl is a chef. And former supermodel. And accomplished writer. Some girls have it all.
“My dear young fellow,’ the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, ‘there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.” ― Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach
- For the Coffee Cake
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon mild vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- ¾ cup oil
- 1, 6-ounce container plain yogurt*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups peaches, chopped
- For the Filling
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
- For an Optional Glaze Topping
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Stir together the milk and the vinegar. Allow the mixture to set while you prepare the dry and the wet ingredients.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and oil.
- Add the yogurt and vanilla to the sugar and oil in the large bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Add the dry flour mixture, then the milk mixture, to the mixture in the large bowl. Do this in separate additions, adding first the flour, then the milk. Follow with flour, milk, and flour.
- Stir well to combine, then fold in the peaches.
- Allow the batter to sit for a moment while you prepare the filling.
- Simply stir together the sugar, cinnamon and pecans to make the filling.
- Pour ½ of the batter into a lightly greased and floured bundt pan.
- Sprinkle the filling atop the batter. Try to keep the filling from touching the edge of the pan.
- Pour the remaining batter on top of the filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean when the cake is fully baked.
- Allow the cake to cool in its pan for 25-30 minutes, then invert the pan over a cooling rack to remove the cake.
- Once the cake has fully cooled, pour a glaze over the cake or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired.
- To make the glaze, sift (to remove lumps) the confectioners’ sugar over a small to medium bowl.
- Add the milk and whisk to combine. You may wish to add one tablespoon of milk at a time to achieve your desired consistency.