February 22, 2011

Market Days and Quinoa Peach Cake

It is always a highlight of the week for me when I get to go to the farmers' markets. There is a different kind of atmosphere: people are out early, catching up by a cup of coffee, having breakfast and buying some incredible produce form the local farmers and the talented artisans. Although I fully understand the convenience of supermarkets, there is just something so 'right' about buying groceries from the farmers' markets. It gives you a good feeling and a clean conscience when you know you are helping the small entrepreneurs.

When I visit the markets I am always on the look out for seasonal produce, fresh loaf of bread, fresh flowers and some special treats such as good olive oil, vinegars, organic nuts and dried fruit.

Now, I have to warn you, this quinoa peach cake is not for the faint hearted. It is not too sweet, but it is very moist and has some definite notes of quinoa. I love using almond or hazelnut meal in cakes and you may have noticed I prefer using alternative flours rather than plain wheat flour. This cake was, however, a perfect little treat after a morning of shopping at the markets and a perfect way to celebrate seasonal produce!

Quinoa Peach Cake

3 large, free-range eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup organic, fat-free yoghurt
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
100 g organic quinoa flour
50 g almond meal
50 g hazelnut meal
3 peaches, cut into thin wedges
icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 180C and prepare a 23 cm round cake tin. Using electric beaters, whisk the eggs and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add yoghurt, apple sauce and vanilla and stir to combine. Mix the baking powder into the flour and sift the flour into the egg mixture. Fold to combine. Lastly, fold in almond meal, hazelnut meal and the peaches. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack and serve warm dusted with icing sugar.