I’ve arrived in New Zealand last Saturday; pretty jetlagged – to tell the truth – but still immensely happy.
There was just this thing that kept me slightly disappointed.
I had dreamt of beautiful sand beaches and a sun so bright you could hardly see. Well, what I found arriving here was – let’s say – far from my expectations.
Imagine England during autumn. Then you’ve got it: a cloudy, freezing cold weather; nothing less, nothing more.
Not really what you would call summer, wouldn’t you?Though, today something happened. After the rain – so cold I thought it was snow -, the clouds disappeared leaving place to a harsh and hot sun.
I immediately switched my Converses for KJacques (lovely leather flip flops from St Tropez) and although my feet are now begging for thick wool socks, I can’t help but smile. Smile from happiness: summer is finally here.


Peach, almond and yoghurt cake
adapted from Bill Granger’s simply bill

While I didn’t make this cake today (actually made it last week with the New Zealander summer in mind) it makes a beautiful summer cake.
Think a moist, light yet dense and deliciously scented cake.
Again this cake comes from Bill Granger, who’s now become my reference for no-fuss cakes.
Indeed, I always loved his way to cook and enhance clean, simple flavours; but I seemed to have forgotten him a little – in favour of my ultimate food-hero: Pierre Hermé.
Luckily when I decided to go for a bake-lots-of-cakes day, I stumbled across this and this. The gorgeous pictures and appealing flavours had my name written all over.
I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t. This day, although exhausting, resulted in two stunning cakes – one that helped me face my hate for the chocolate-orange combination and the other that was perfect to turn me onto summer mood.

The latter is a really straight forward cake that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, tea; or indeed for anytime of the day. A real keeper!
The yoghurt makes for a wonderfully most cake, while the peach and good dose of vanilla provided a subtle and stylish flavour.
And the almonds! What a nice touch: they give both a lovely aroma and a beautiful look.

Peach, almond and yoghurt cake

serves 8

220 g unsalted butter, softened
250 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
225g self-raising flour, sifted
50 ml milk
250 ml plain yoghurt
450g peach, skinned and cut into dices
50 g flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform cake pan.

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl mix until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Fold in the flour, milk and yoghurt and mix until barely combined.
Gently add the peach chunks.

Pour the mixture into a pan and sprinkle with the almonds.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 min or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. If browning too quickly, cover top of the cake with foil for the last 20 min of cooking. Remove and cool.