The recipe below is my own version of a recipe from "Taste of Home," an old magazine my mom used to get. I don't like to mess with baking (it really is a science) but I always have a hard time holding myself back...thus, a few changes were made to the batter and, of course, the filling was a creation of my own.
In terms of the process, this isn't a difficult recipe. Simply cream the butter and sugar together, add in the eggs one by one, and then add in the other wet ingredients (water/vanilla/peaches). Next, combine the dry ingredients separately (everything except the nuts) and stir that into the wet ingredients. Incorporate it all together but try your best not to overmix. Finally, add in the walnuts and your batter is ready. Toss it into a greased/oiled loaf pan and let it settle for a few minutes while you prepare your filling! Doesn't that peachy color look delicious?
The filling, like many culinary inventions, came to me by accident. What I really wanted was a delicious caramel-like topping...but my cooking process led me to a filling instead. Looking back, I'm glad this cake had a filling--it's what it really needed! The filling allows each bit of the cake to be moist, warm, and delicious. It adds a sweetness that the cake would've been disappointingly missing without it.
For the filling you'll need:
2/3 cup of brown sugar (my blend wasn't too light, but you probably don't want the darkest of the dark)
3.5 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of your diced peaches (if you have some left over like I did...if not, not a huge deal)
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
6 spiced wafer cookies, beaten to a rough grind in a Ziploc bag!
I created the filling step by step--mistakes made followed with me trying to fix them! I first melted together the butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave for only about 30 seconds (use a double boiler/stovetop if you want, you're just making it harder for yourself). Let everything just get soft and then stir it together, fully melting the butter. Then, before the sugary mixture solidifies, add the peaches and walnuts.
Finally, you get to use one of my favorite techniques. Place 6 spiced wafers in a sealed plastic bag and just smash them against the counter, beat them with your hand, etc, until you have a pretty solid grind of the cookie. A few pieces of wafer left in the mix aren't a problem, just as long as they aren't inedibly large. Dump this grind in with the wet brown sugar mix, stir together, and your filling is done! The spiced wafer will soak up all the delicious sugar mixture, making for a delicious center in your cake.
Here comes the last trick: place your loaf pan of batter in the oven WITHOUT the filling inside for about ten minutes. It's imperative that you let your batter get a head start on cooking or your filling might just fall out of the bottom of your cake. After ten minutes, open the oven and dump your filling atop the loaf batter that should start to be taking form. No need to push it into the batter, it will fall in on its own.
Cook the cake for about another 20-30 minutes, or until you can push a toothpick into the cake (the batter-filled part, not a filling filled area) and pull it out clean.
At the end, hopefully your cake looks and tastes as good as mine did! This cake was refreshing and decadent at the same time--definitely a keeper in my recipe book. Happy baking!