The basil plant on the patio survived not only an entire summer in my less then green thumbed care but also hurricane Irene’s recent attempt to take New York City by storm so I figured something should be made as an homage to the little basil plant that stood.

My only foray into the world of Ottolenghi has been via one of their cookbooks. In September I intend to make a pilgrimage there along with maybe a return to Moro.  Ottolenghi recipes for baked goods are delicious. A little challenging which is fun plus there is always a little thoughtful twist on run of the mill desserts that is inspiring.

Using their ‘tea cake’ recipe which is for 6 peach/raspberry  ‘bundt’ cakes, I made a batch of peach-basil muffins. Peach and basil is a pretty divine combination no matter how you do it.  Ice pops, cakes, a salad or a rice dish…..

Tip: Skins of fruit and veg are not the worst thing in the world – often they contain the best nutrition. However should you wish to be rid of them simply plunge the peaches in hot water for a minute then immediately into cold for 3o seconds and the skins will be easy to rub/peel off.

The following recipe makes 6 bundt cakes or about 12 normal size muffins.

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.



  • 180gr butter (plus melted butter for greasing if necessary)
  • 260gr flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 160gr caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 170ml soured cream
  • 2 peaches diced
  • good handful of fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 350 f.

Depending on what tins you’re using butter a muffin tray and leave in the fridge.

Put the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat the eggs with the vanilla and add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time.  Fold in the flour mixture one third at a time until well incorporated making a smooth batter. Add the peaches last.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tray keeping it just below the surface.  Bake for about 30 minutes until a knife emerges clean and dry from their centers.

The sour cream factor can mean they have less of a shelf life so eat them quickly!