Two Peach Cakes

 My passion for baking began to emerge a couple of years ago, when my mother was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. It didn't seem fair that while my sister, father, and I dug into her moist, nutty homemade banana bread, she was left to gnaw on crumbly store-bought rice flour cookies, the only gluten-free "treats" available at the time. Little by little, we began to experiment with different flours. We began with rice and garbanzo flour, but soon developed a vast repetoire. Our kitchen cupboards are now stocked with at least a dozen different flours: sorghum, tapioca, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum...and the list goes on. We have spent hours combing the internet for good gluten free recipes, tips, and information on the seemingly infinite variety of flours available for the gluten-challenged. While in Nova Scotia visiting family about a week ago, I offered to make a cake for my grandmother's birthday. I soon realized that most people do not have the same flour-hoarding tendencies, and that the only flour at hand was (gasp) plain white wheat flour. I had already planned to make two cakes, one gluten-free for the few gluten-shy family members attending the birthday party, and one gluten-full, for the rest of us. For the gluten-free cake, I resorted to a Betty Crocker mix, which actually produced a delicious and moist cake that was the perfect base for a generous layer of freshly sliced Ontario peaches. For the glutinous cake, I used half of the standard 1-2-3-4 cake recipe and added a bit of milk and vanilla extract. While neither cake was the product of any great culinary innovation, therefore, both were delicious and were the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea on a beautiful August afternoon in Nova Scotia.


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