Tuesdays with Dorie: Peach upside-down chiffon cake

I don't know whether I've ever written an entire blog post without a apology/explanation/excuse for why I'm posting late/don't have pictures/didn't complete some challenge recipe. No, today is no exception. I joined the Tuesdays with Dorie group, baking through the Baking with Julia cookbook, when I was about 3 months' pregnant, and I've prepared about half of the challenge recipes (up to the time I was about 8 months' pregnant) and posted exactly none of them. And then there was this brief leave of absence from the kitchen due to the arrival of the littlest Leaven.

It's been wonderful learning some new techniques from this cool cookbook, with several of 'America's best bakers' guiding us through recipes from Julia Child's PBS series.

Our attempts are supposed to be posted every other Tuesday. Yesterday's post was for nectarine upside-down chiffon cake. I subbed white peaches, because the nectarines weren't as ripe as I wanted. I would love to prepare this a little earlier in peach season, when painfully delicious Texas peaches are available at the farmer's market, but the regular old non-organic grocery store peaches were still pretty good as a topping.

Chiffon cake is similar to angel food cake but it's made with vegetable oil. The airy texture comes from the meringue which is folded in to the batter. Mine turned out light and springy, with a yummy caramelized peach topping. There was a bit of streusel made of almonds and oats and spices in the middle too, although I burned my streusel and had to discard about half of it. The recipe is available in the cookbook (duh!) or at the blogs of the hosts of this challenge: Marlise and Susan.

Although the cake wasn't gorgeous, I thought it looked better than most of what I turn out of the kitchen. Mr Leaven and I both enjoyed it, as did the friends who joined us for a Labor Day pool party & cookout. This wasn't a complicated recipe but there were several different components which made the process a little more time-consuming than I would have preferred. Plus, I probably should have left out the streusel completely so that my friend's daughter with a nut allergy did not have to skip it.  Anyway, the leftovers (that's what happens when we have 3 desserts for a small party!) have been excellent for snacking and have survived 2 days without problems. There won't be any left on day 3...


  1. Congratulations! The cake looks good but that baby is adorable!

  2. Your cake looks perfect! Thanks for sharing the adorable picture of your little one, too.

  3. You are excused ... on all accounts. I don't have a new little gift from heaven and I still run late sometimes! Blessings on the arrival of our new little Leaven.
    P.S. Your cake looks great!


  4. No apologies needed. You have your hands full and life takes priority :-)
    Congratulations on your addition


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