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I know, I know for someone who claims to not like baking, I sure am featuring a lot of cakes this week. I promise you it is a coincidence, not a growing trend…or is it?….;)

This is my entry for this month’s Royal Foodie Joust. If you have not participated, think about participating in the next one! All the details can be found here.

Also don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry! The polls are up and a new winner will be decided on August 6th. Click here to vote!

I was asked by several of the participants to join my event this time and I have agreed, with one condition, I will not be competing in the voting process.

The ingredients which were chosen by last month’s winner, Jennifer from …andtheeggs, are eggs (of course), honey and the season’s beautiful fruit – peaches! There are many wonderful entries already and I am happy to submit mine along with all the others!

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INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta – finely ground
¼ cup slivered almonds (sliced is better, but they only had slivered at the market)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
Poached Peaches in Basil-Honey Syrup, recipe follows

Poached Peaches in Basil-Honey Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 sprigs fresh basil
2 large firm unpeeled ripe peaches, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, polenta and baking powder. It is important to sift these so that the polenta gets fully incorporated into the flour. Stir in the salt and almonds.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs, egg yolk, milk, olive oil and lemon zest until frothy. Add the sugar, honey, almond and vanilla extracts and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients, about ¼ cup at a time and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out with a few crumbs adhering. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and transfer to a cake plate. To serve, slice and top each piece with poached peaches and their syrup and a dollop of fresh whipped cream!
To prepare the syrup:
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and honey and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Do not allow it to boil as it will harden as it cools and become unusable for this recipe. Add the basil, and simmer until thick and fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the peaches. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove the basil.
Serve the peaches with the syrup warm or at room temperature.

If you have never made fresh whipped cream, here is how. It is simple and fast!
Pour 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream, 1 TBS confectioner’s sugar and a splash of pure vanilla extract into your mixer. Start whipping it at a low speed and as it thickens crank it up all the way. Whip until it is the consistency you like. It is possible to over-whip, in which case you will make butter!