As long as I can remember I’ve been coming down to Melbourne to spend my Christmas holidays. Waiting up late at night on the driveway for the taxi to come, alive with excitement, our cold weather clothes sticking to ourselves in the muggy wet season heat. Driving to the airport through the yellow glow from streetlights overhead, occasionally through rain, watching each house flash by thinking “see you in 5 weeks!” Once on the plane my sisters and I would be jostling for the window seat. The sun would slowly rise, giving way to winding rivers and growing clusters of houses amongst the dry shades of red and orange. Finally, we’d be stepping off the plane onto the tarmac, our eyes bleary, to be hit full in the face with Melbourne’s crisp cool morning air.
What followed were memories of late night hide and go seek games with my cousins, pinball sessions in the shed, lazy days by the pool, summer fruit, rushing around visiting friends and relatives, wombat spotting adventures at Wilsons Promontory, Christmas carols, chocolate bullets, daisy chains, fresh berries, falling jacaranda flowers and lots of good food!
When Becky and I decided we’d do a series of Christmas posts, I knew straight away what I wanted to do. It got me thinking about my favourite parts of Christmas in Melbourne. 1. Family – spending time with my favourite people. 2. Summer – sunny days and warm weather 3. Fresh stone fruit – I honestly can’t eat enough of it! So, I decided to make something you often share with other people, okay a cake. I knew it MUST included all the delicious stone fruit I continuously gobble: nectarines, peaches and of course, apricots! Personally, I am in love spices and love food with a bit of kick (mainly thanks to dad who brought me up on chilli, ginger, turmeric, cumin and coriander seeds). So, when I found a recipe on Taste for Grilled Stone Fruit with Fresh Ginger Cake, it was a no brainer!
Eating the cake is bliss. Light fluffy ginger cake with a fantastic spicy kick to contrast the sweet stone fruit. When grilled, the fruit releases a beautiful light pink syrup which not only looks amazing but is delicious! We made a few adjustments to the recipe on Taste, three intentionally and one not. Firstly, when grilling the stone fruit the recipe also says to grill red grapes, we however left out the grapes and focused entirely on the flavours of the stone fruit. Secondly, on the day we were unable o source fresh ginger so instead we opted for ginger paste. Thirdly, when we made the cake we used plain flour instead of self-raising flour but then forgot the add baking powder. However the recipe worked perfectly as the egg whites already make the cake light and fluffy. I don’t see any need in adding self-raising flour, as the consistency with plain flour was perfect. Lastly, the recipe says that in the last 20mins of cooking time to cover the cake in foil to stop over browning. We did not follow these instructions and found the cake did not over brown.
GRILLED STONE FRUIT AND FRESH GINGER CAKE
ADAPTED FROM TASTE’S RECIPE
SERVES: 8 PEOPLE
COOKING TIME: 50MINS
200g natural almonds
½ cup plain flour
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar (for cake)
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (or 3 teaspoons ginger paste)
100g butter, melted
4 of each of apricots, nectarines and peaches
½ cup caster sugar or brown sugar (for stone fruit)
Icing sugar to dust
- Preheat oven to 170° In food processor, process almonds, flour and ½ teaspoons of salt until finely ground.
- Using an electric beater whisk egg yolks and half sugar (for cake) until thick and pale. Stir in ginger, almond mixture and butter.
- Then separately whisk egg whites until firm peaks form. With large metal spoon fold egg whites into batter in 2 batches. Spoon mixture into a greased and lined 24cm springform tin. Smooth batter and bake for 40mins.
- Cool ginger cake in tin for 10mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, dust cake with icing sugar.
- Preheat grill to high and adjust grill rack to sit close to the element. Cut stone fruit in half and remove stone. Cut peaches into quarters.
- Place sugar in a bowl. Press stone fruit cut side down into the sugar. Place cut side up in a single layer on a baking paper lined tray or heatproof dish. Grill fruit for 10mins or until the sugar caramelises and the fruit is warmed through.
- Serve stone fruit war or room temperature with a slice of ginger cake and thick cream. Dig in!