Nectarine and rosewater cake

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It’s the floral perfume of the rosewater that makes this cake come alive in a beautifully light, summery way. I’ve used nectarines because of their soft skins, but you could also use soft berries or peaches that have been poached or have had their skins removed.

I like to use raw caster sugar in this cake, because it gives a subtle caramel tone to the base mixture; however, if you have trouble finding it, then white caster sugar can be used instead.

Ingredients

  • 110 g ( oz/½ cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) white wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) ripe nectarines
  • 330 g (11½ oz/ cups) raw (or golden) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup)vegetable oil
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • 260 g ( oz/1 cup) Greek style yoghurt
  • 375 g (13 oz/ cups) self-raising flour, sifted

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease a 24 cm ( inch) round cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper.

Put the brown sugar, wine and vanilla bean paste in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and has become a thick syrup. Remove from the heat and pour the syrup into the base of the prepared tin.

Slice the nectarines into 5 mm (¼ inch) thick slices and arrange them over the base of the cake tin, starting in the centre of the tin and working outwards in a fanning flower pattern.

Using an electric mixer, beat the caster sugar, oil, eggs and rosewater until well combined. Add the yoghurt and beat until the batter is smooth, then fold in the sifted flour. Carefully pour the batter into the tin over the nectarines and smooth the top.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin to cool, then turn out onto a serving plate. Serve with whipped cream or custard.