Tipsy Coffee Cakelettes and Peach Infused Bourbon

Tipsy cakes - made with a box mix and embellished
with fresh and drunken peaches and struesel topping!
It's peach season here in the Northeast which gets me to thinking about making a lot of things with local NJ Peaches.  As soon as peaches are coming into the Collingswood Farmers' Market in profusion, I'll put up one or two gallon jars with Evan Williams Bourbon and Southern Comfort - soaking the peaches for a week or up to a few months.  Afterwards, I'l turn those drunken peaches into crumbles, cobbles, tipsy cakes; I'll use the spirit-infused peaches to make Bourbon Peach Ketchup/BBQ Sauces;  I even plan on using the bourbon soaked peaches to make slushies, sorbets or ice creams.  If time allows and I have enough tipsy peaches, I may even make a boozy peach jam.  Using the peaches I've infused into Bourbon gives me more than one treat - a fantastic cocktail base, and plenty of doozy woozy peaches to use for other recipes.

Gorgeous NJ Peaches - buy 'em and 'freeze them!
One of the easiest two-for-the-price-of-one treats to make is a Bourbon infused peach coffee cake, using a box cake mix.  Oh the horrors! Using a box mix? Well, yes, a box mix.  I like mixes.  I like the convenience and knowing that the cake will turn out fine every time.  I like knowing you can alter ingredients, making a cake with only one ingredient, or lowering the fat content.  Box mixes give me a lot of baking freedom in that the leg work has been done for me.  Now not all mixes are created equal nor are they priced accordingly.

A new favorite choice for an economical commercial box mix is this new line by Pillsbury.  Let me be clear, I have not received anything in exchange for my opinion.  I really like this new line because it has very few ingredients, no additives, no artificial coloring's, no unpronounceable words.  I wish all mixes were made this way.  It reminds me of Heinz's Simply Heinz Ketchup - why not make all ketchup with just the needed ingredients? Why do we need to have high fructose corn syrup?  Why the colourings?   I don't mind paying an extra dollar for products that taste and are better for you.  The Pillsbury Purely Simple mix has been used twice now with fantastic results.  The first time I used the white cake mix I just added vanilla bean paste and followed the instructions.  The cake turned out beautifully.

For the coffee cakes, I embellished the mix and doubled the batch.  The recipe is for  a single batch. Double it if you need.  I baked the cakes in 3x5 mini loaf pans; with a double batch, it  yields 12 mini loaves.  One times the recipe should yield 6 mini loaves.

Bushels and baskets of Fruitwood Farm peaches
Thanks to the many farmers at the Collingswood Farmers' Market, there was a plethora of peaches from which to choose.  I bought a quart of peaches from Fruitwood Farms this past weekend.  When I got home, I let them sit for a day or two on the counter until they softened until ripe.  When they were ripe and ready, I washed them, cut them into slices (removing the pits, but keeping the skins on) and tossed them into a large gallon glass jar.  I used a jar that once had cherry peppers in it - like the kind you get from a deli.  Wash the jar out thoroughly unless you want the taste of picked peppers and boozy peaches! 
Peaches infused with various whiskies and Southern Comfort make a delightful
cocktail base as well as a drunken infused fruit to be used in a myriad of other recipes
After you fill the jar with about 3-4 cups of ripe sliced peaches, cover the peaches with equal parts of a decent but inexpensive bourbon or whiskey.  One time I had a bunch of random whiskey bottles, so I used those.  In general I use Evan Williams since it's a good quality well-brand booze.  I also added a bottle of Southern Comfort because I happened to have a bottle of it on hand and needed to use up.  After I tasted the combination of peaches, bourbon and Southern Comfort, I was hooked.  It was a wonderful three ingredient cocktail recipe that I've turned to summer after summer.  You'll need a large bottle of Evan Williams (1.75 ltr bottle).  You won't need as much Southern Comfort if you're using it.  You can get away with a 5th or a .750 ml bottle. 

Infuse the peaches for at least 1 week.  Mine soaked for about 3 months - but truly, a week's infusion is fine.  Strain the peaches from the bourbon using a fine-mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth that's been rinsed in cool water.  Save the peaches in either a freezer bag or freezer safe container and freeze or refrigerate for other uses.  The peaches have been in alcohol so they never truly freeze but become semi-slushy.  You can keep them in the freezer for almost a year!  When ready to use the bourbon-infused peaches chop the peaches and use the liquid that remains to drizzle over cakes or whatever treats your making. That liquid is full of peach and bourbon flavors - too good to go to waste.  This is why I call the cakes, Tipsy Cakelettes.  A sort of riff on the infamous famous Lynchburg Cake and Candy Company's Jack Daniels' Tipsy Cakes out of Kentucky.

Tipsy Coffee Cakeletts Ingredients:
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 2 Ripe Peaches - pitted and small dice
  • 1 Cup Bourbon-soaked peach slices - small dice (To make bourbon soaked peaches, place peach slices into a clean glass jar and cover with bourbon (with or without the Southern Comfort) of choice, it can be an inexpensive brand.  Seal jar and place in a cool dark place for at least a week or up to 1 month.  Strain out the peaches, and use these for tipsy cakeletts and use the reserved peach infused bourbon for a Peach Old Fashioned.) - Reserve any liquid that the peaches give off for drizzling over cake batter.
  • 1 Box Pillsbury Purely Simple White Cake Mix - or cake mix of choice
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter - softened
  • 3 Large Eggs - lightly beatened
  • 3/4  Cup Milk - Whole, Low-Fat or Non-Fat it's your choice
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Non-Fat Greet Yogurt (or other plain yogurt, but the Greek-style is best)
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon or Reserved Peach Bourbon Liquid - for drizzling (optional)
Streusel Topping:
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar 
  • 1 Cup Quick Cook Oats
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter - cold and cut into small pieces
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare your cake pans - spraying/buttering them and flouring them.  Set aside
  3. Make Streusel topping first - in a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, butter cubes, pinch of salt and cinnamon and combine with your hands or with a pastry cutter, to create the streusel topping.  Cut the ingredients together to create a "sandy-textured coarse meal".  The topping should be slightly chunky or the size of peas.  You can make this in a food processor, pulsing the mixture a few times to combine.  The final texture needs to be coarse and wet-sand like.  Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.  You can make this ahead of time and the mixture can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, add the diced fresh peaches and the diced bourbon soaked peaches and toss the three tablespoons of flour over them to combine.  If the peaches are supper juicy use another tablespoon of flour on them.  Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Pillsbury cake mix with the softened butter and beat on low in either a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand-mixer on low speed - for two minutes.  
  6. Add in the beatened eggs, milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.  Mix the batter on medium speed for four minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure the batter is thoroughly mixed.  
  7. After the batter is mixed gently fold in the peaches until they are combined with the cake batter.
  8. Pour the batter into prepared pans - Six 3"x 5" loaf pans or One 9-inch loaf pan.  Scatter the streusel topping over the cake batter. 
    to make the cakes really boozy, pour the two tablespoons of bourbon or peach bourbon liquid over the streusel topped cake batter, the place loaves/loaf pan onto a sheet tray and place in the pre-heated oven.
  9. Bake in the middle rack in the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans after 20 minutes, and check to see if the cakes are done after 30 minutes by inserting a long thin knife or skewer into the center of the cakes.  When a knife or skewer come out clean, the cakes are done.  It won't be enough to tell the cakes are done merely by looking - the cakes may look golden brown and the streusel topping will be brown and crunchy but the cakes need to be cooked all the way through to the center.
  10. Allow cake/cakes to cool on a rack in the pan/pans, then turn the cakes out and allow to cool completely before cutting or storing - about an hour.  
  11. Cakes will keep three to five days wrapped and refrigerated or can be frozen for up to three months if tightly wrapped and placed into a freezer bag.
  12. Yields One 9-inch loaf or Six 3/x mini loaves.

Additional Ideas and Recipes - Peach Old Fashioned - see the link here for a great holiday gift-giving idea!

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