Bruised Peach Cake (and transforming disappointment into delight)

Yesterday at the Dupont Circle Fresh Farm Market I carefully selected four peaches that were not quite ripe.  I anticipated them ripening on Tuesday and Wednesday, so that I could have them when I returned to the office (always good to have a special treat when returning to the office from vacation).

By the time I got the peaches into the kitchen two hours later, three had ripened and gotten sufficiently bruised during the journey that they could not be carried to work.  I used this as an opportunity to make a decision about what to bring to a potluck tonight:  bruised peach cake.

3 very ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and very finely chopped, with juice

2 eggs well-beaten with a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt (optional) and a splash of vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegan shortening, softened (or same quantity oil or butter)

1 cup succanat (evaporated cane sugar)

splash of orange juice (how much depends on whether using yogurt)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

a couple of shakes of salt

pinch or two of dried, powdered ginger

Nuts optional (I now try not to cook with nuts when bringing food to a gathering where I do not know all the guests)

Cream shortening with sugar.  Add in beaten eggs, yogurt, and juice.  Mix well.

Blend or sift all dry ingredients together.

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, taking care not to overmix.  Blend in peaches and their juice.

Turn batter into greased (butter or flavorless oil) 9×9 (or 8×8) baking pan.  Put in 325F oven (no need to preheat) for 20-30 minutes.  Check after 15-20 minutes to make sure not cooking unevenly or browning too quickly.

Energy saving tips: (1) many non-yeast leavened baked goods do not need the oven preheated; (2) by baking bread-like cakes that are traditionally baked in a loaf shape  in a square baking pan, oven time is reduced by more than half; (3) use the toaster oven so that you are not using more oven space than needed.

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