Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream

One of the wonderful things about the expat community is how incredibly welcoming it is to newcomers. It’s easy to make friends in that kind of environment, especially for us wallflowers, but the community is also tends to be fluid. Most folks, at least here in Munich, tend to be on fixed term contracts and will be leaving after a year or two. So as wonderful as it is making friends from all over the world, you know that eventually they will be moving on to new places or going back to old familiar ones. It’s lovely having friends all over the world, but it’s also a bit lonely when all of your friends have left while you’ve stayed behind.

But then… they come back!

It seems like our house has been {and will continue to be for a few more months at least} a revolving door. Friends and family have made our sofa bed their home and lots of great visiting has been happening over a couple beers and a table full of food. These awesome people have also unwittingly been guinea pigs for lots of new recipes so for that, thank you.

Today one of my friends from my au pair year is arriving and, since food is my love language, naturally I made cake. So here’s to catching up, trips down memory lane, great conversations, trips to the Wies’n, and tons of great food.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake

{inspired by Adventures in Cooking}
The whole recipe is reduced to make a two layer cake instead of three only because I don’t have three pans. Aside from adding the peaches, I replaced the sugar in the cake with honey so some amounts of other ingredients also had to change to compensate for the differences. 

The Dry
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour {I used spelt.}
1/3 cup uncooked polenta {or cornmeal. It’s the same thing. I can’t get cornmeal here, so I went with polenta}
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

The Wet
3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp apple juice {I used unfiltered.}
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cloves, crushed and ground

To Fold
2 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 small peaches, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium sized mixing bowl and then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and honey. Then add the olive oil, apple juice, vanilla, and spices and stir until it’s combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches and mix until it’s just combined. Don’t want to over mix it! Gently fold in the peaches and the chopped rosemary.

Pour the batter up into two 6 inch cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.

When they’re finished transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before icing.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Buttercream from Kiwi+Peach

Honey Buttercream

{from Adventures in Cooking}

1 stick {140g} butter
1 cup powdered sugar {icing sugar for the Kiwis}
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp cream {or in my case, soy cream}, optional but recommended

First step is to brown the butter. The short version is melt the butter over medium heat then let it keep cooking until it goes from light yellow to a rich tan color, little black bits start to form, and it starts to smell like nutty toffee. {Eva over at Adventures in Cooking explains this process beautifully, so if you’re unsure head over there and read up.} When you get to that point, set it off the heat to cool for a bit then pour it into a bowl lined with plastic wrap. Pop the bowl in the fridge until the butter is cooled and firmed enough to use for the buttercream.

When you poke it the butter should feel soft but your finger shouldn’t sink in. Let’s make some buttercream!

Sift your powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add them to the bowl along with the honey. Beat them all together until you like the consistency. If it’s a bit thick, add some cream to smooth it out.

Peach and Rosemary Polenta Cake with Honey Brown Butter{cream} from Kiwi+Peach

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Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade

Last week I mentioned making a spiked lemonade to go with the shrimp tacos we had for our Labor Day celebration. Well folks, here it is!

We have loads of rosemary at the moment. It is quite literally taking over our herb garden, so I’ve taken to throwing it in everything: drinks, cakes, even the pumpkin ravioli I’m making tonight. Along with the slightly herby taste that the rosemary gives the simple syrup, I feel like the maple syrup compliments the bourbon beautifully. In my world, lemonade is a very summery drink, but the maple and the bourbon give it just a hint of Fall, making this the perfect accompaniment to a Labor Day feast or really, any feast this time of the year.

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade | kiwi+peach

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade

{makes about 4 drinks}

Rosemary Maple Simple Syrup
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 sprigs of rosemary, washed and leaves striped

The Spike
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice {about 3 lemons}
1/3 cup bourbon

Boil your jug and start heating up a pot on medium heat. Once the jug boils, measure your water into the pot and then whisk in the maple syrup. Add the sprigs of rosemary {stalk and leaves} and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

While the syrup is simmering, you can be juicing your lemons. Remember to roll them really well before you try to juice them. This will break up all the little membranes, and you will get so much more juice!

After a couple minutes of simmering, strain the syrup to remove all the rosemary bits. In a pitcher, stir together the juice, the bourbon, and the simple syrup. Pop it in the fridge for a few hours to cool.

Serve over ice. Extra rosemary optional but oh so pretty.

Rosemary and Maple Bourbon Lemonade | kiwi+peach

Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrup

As a rule, the Kiwi and I are not big house drinkers. I’m not saying we never have the occasional beer or glass of wine at home, but we are more likely to imbibe if we’re out at a restaurant or on vacation. {Which kind of goes hand in hand with eating out…but I digress.}

The exception to this is when we have company. Much like a starter or a dessert, I think that the beverage selection you offer can really make an impact on the meal. Don’t worry, water and sweet tea are almost always on tap too, but what I really love is trying out new cocktails on our unsuspecting guests. I’m sure our friends think we’re lushes. Last week, I whipped up this sucker when we were having a friend over for dinner before a concert. The weather has been beautiful and our herb garden {especially the rosemary} was getting unruly, so I thought I’d throw some in. It was perfect with our black bean burgers and fruit salad dessert with coconut whipped cream.

Kiwi+Peach: Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrupphoto by the Kiwi

Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrup

The Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
5 sprigs of rosemary

The Fruit
1/2 of a lemon
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries

The Booze
1/2 a bottle of a dry white wine {I used a dry Riesling because I’m in Germany.}
1/2 cup of clear rum {I used Bacardi}
2 cans of San Pelligrino Limonata {Really any lemon lime soda is fine. I’m just being pretentious. }

Boil your jug and start heating a medium size pot on medium heat. Measure your sugar and add it to the pot along with the water and the rosemary. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and remove the rosemary.

Next, get to prepping the fruit. Thinly slice your lemon. Wash and core your strawberries, slicing them in half {or quarters depending on some} when finished. Wash your blueberries. Add all the fruit to a pitcher, and then add the simple syrup.

Now you’re ready for the good stuff, the booze. Pour half the bottle of wine in your pitcher and add the rum. Give it all a stir and then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or until it’s nice and cold. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the Limonata and stir well.

I find the easiest way to pour it up is to spoon some fruit in the glass first and then to pour in the liquid, but it’s completely up to you. Garnish with some rosemary, a wedge or lemon, maybe a strawberry. The possibilities are endless.