Colorado peaches are perfect right now. Even if you can’t buy ours, I’m sure you can find some excellent peaches wherever you live. This is a delicious way to serve them that’s light and intensely chocolatey-peachy; easy to make and pretty to look at.
This recipe also contains ‘Lite Silken Tofu’: I didn’t put that in the title as it sounds a bit odd.
The filling can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
There’s a 2nd recipe omitting the cocoa that follows this one for those who don’t want a choc-buzz, along with some alternative fruity suggestions.
4 large, ripe (but not too ripe) peaches, halved and stoned
1/3 cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet until golden (watch them like a hawk)
½ cup of vanilla sugar or regular fine white sugar
4 tablespoons of best quality cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup of firm ‘Lite Silken’ tofu, drained
1 tablespoon of softened butter
½ teaspoon of natural almond extract
2 tablespoons of Amaretto liqueur
¼ cup of flaked almonds for the topping
Optional powdered/icing sugar to serve
Preheat the oven to 400F / 204C
Process the pine nuts, sugar, flour, cocoa and salt until finely ground.
Add the egg, butter, tofu and almond extract; process again to create a batter.
Arrange the peaches cut side up and close together in a lightly buttered shallow baking dish – sprinkle with Amaretto.
Spoon the batter on top of each peach half.
Scatter a few flaked almonds on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the topping is puffy and the peaches are tender.
Cool at least 15 minutes or to room temp and dust with powdered sugar to serve (with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or not).
If you have an experience like I did when I bought some wonderful looking peaches from Costco, you might try this instead:
When I went to halve them, the flesh stubbornly refused to separate from the stones so I had to improvise as I was faced with partially mutilated fruit and juice running down my arm.
I suppose that’s how some recipes evolve.
I was going to call it ‘Peach and Almond Pudding’ because I’m English.
Sadly, the word ‘pudding’ over here conjures up images of hospital food, baby food and food for folks with no teeth. Perhaps this isn’t suitable for babies but if I were toothless and hospitalized, I’d hope they’d serve me something this good.
Oh, whatever; it’s a pudding. The only difference is that I left out the cocoa powder but feel free to add it, if a day without chocolate feels like a day without sunshine.
Oven temp 400F / 204C
Exactly the same as above, with or without cocoa powder
Likewise, same as above for the batter
Slice or hack the peaches into chunks and layer in a lightly buttered, shallow 2 pint baking dish, or divide between four 8 oz ramekins. Sprinkle with Amaretto liqueur.
Spoon the batter over the peaches and scatter with flaked almonds.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until golden.
Cool 15 minutes or to room temp and dust with powdered sugar before serving with a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
I use Green and Black’s organic fair trade cocoa powder – I bring large quantities over from the UK but I’m sure you can get it here if you live near a city; otherwise, go for the best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can find.
The chocolate batter is also a perfect match for ripe pears (peeled cored and sliced); plums, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are also good.
My personal favorite is the combination of pears and chocolate. Where I grew up, we had a massive pear tree in our garden that attracted every wasp within a 20 mile radius. Still, there were plenty to go around and Mum would make a wonderful, thick chocolate sauce to pour over poached pears; simple perfection.
You could replace the almond extract with minced crystallized ginger or leave them both out and keep it unadulteratedly-chocolatey.