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Keep your peach cake from getting soggy

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    Summer Peach Cake made from a recipe that appears in the cookbook “The Perfect Cake.” CARL TREMBLAY/AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN VIA AP

Published August 01. 2018 11:31AM

Add ripe peaches to cake and problems abound: All the juice makes for a soggy cake and their delicate flavor gets lost.

Roasting the peaches — and tossing them with peach schnapps — concentrated their flavor and expelled moisture. However, the peaches became swathed in a flavorful but gooey film when cooked.

Coating our roasted peaches in panko breadcrumbs ensured the film was absorbed by the crumbs, which then dissolved into the cake. Peach slices and a sprinkling of almond sugar gave the cake a beautiful finish.

To crush the panko, place the crumbs in a zipper-lock bag and smash with a rolling pin. Orange liqueur can be substituted for the schnapps. If using farm-fresh peaches, omit the schnapps.

SUMMER PEACH CAKE

Servings: 8-10

Start to finish: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus 2 hours to cool

Peaches:

2½ pounds peaches, peeled, halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

5 tablespoons peach schnapps

4 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons sugar

Cake:

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup packed (3½ ounces) light brown sugar

1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

¼ cup sour cream

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, crushed fine

For the peaches: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan. Gently toss 24 peach wedges with 2 tablespoons schnapps, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon sugar in bowl; set aside.

Cut remaining peach wedges crosswise into 3 chunks and gently toss with remaining 3 tablespoons schnapps, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar in second bowl. Spread peach chunks onto prepared baking sheet and bake until exuded juices begin to thicken and caramelize at edges of pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Let peaches cool completely on pan, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.

For the cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk brown sugar, 1/3 cup sugar, and eggs in large bowl until thick and thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in melted butter until combined. Whisk in sour cream, vanilla, and ¼ teaspoon almond extract until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan and spread to pan edges with rubber spatula. Sprinkle crushed panko over roasted peaches and toss gently to combine. Arrange peaches evenly in pan and press gently into batter. Gently spread remaining batter over peaches, smooth top, and arrange reserved peaches attractively over top, also placing wedges in center. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/8 teaspoon almond extract in bowl; sprinkle over top.

Bake cake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Run thin knife around edge of pan to loosen cake, then remove sides of pan. Let cake cool completely on rack, 2 to 3 hours. Slide thin metal spatula between cake bottom and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto platter. Serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories; 99 calories from fat; 11 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 70 mg cholesterol; 268 mg sodium; 37 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 25 g sugar; 3 g protein.

For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit https://www.americastestkitchen.com. Find more recipes like Summer Peach Cake in “The Perfect Cake.”

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