Sunday, 20 April 2008

Winter plum cake

I’ve never really “got” Nigella Lawson – all that hair flicking and coy pouting at the camera clearly isn’t targeted at me, but I suspect the woman knows her stuff where cake is concerned – and respect to her for that! Having just got round to buying her “How to be a domestic goddess” book (about 8 years behind everyone else – hey, what can I say? I’m tough to win over!) this recipe leapt out at me as I adore anything with plums and almonds.

Here it is fresh from the oven:

The cake has a very pleasing rustic/farmhouse sort of look to it:

The cake can be served two ways: firstly, the way I have served it here, as a warm dessert with custard, or secondly, cold with icing. If there is a more delicious sight than gorgeous sponge smothered in vanilla custard then I’m yet to see it!

This is the first plum cake I have made where the plums are chopped and mixed through the cake – normally they are halved and laid on top. I rather liked this twist as it made the cake juicy and every bite guaranteed some plum! I always think that plums are the greatest success of the tinned fruit world and chopped up they look almost jewell-like:

The cake is exceptionally moist and light. I made it the day before I wanted it, and then reheated it in the oven; even after being heated twice it was so light it tasted more like a steamed sponge. For a cake that is almost embarrassingly easy to make it certainly got a warm reception – everyone came back for seconds and we demolished the whole thing between us: a sure-fire sign of success! (and, perhaps, gluttony)

Just look at these pictures as proof of the beautiful texture:

Come to mama!

For the cake:
567g tin of red plums
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g light brown sugar
2 eggs
125g self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
75g ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the icing (if serving cold):
160g golden icing sugar (use ordinary if you cannot find)
1-2 tablespoons hot water

If serving as a warm dessert: custard

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- Grease and line a 20cm round springform cake tin.
- Drain the plums, then chop and leave in a sieve to drain further.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Weigh out the flour.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour each time.
- Beat in the almond extract.
- Fold in the rest of the flour along with the almonds and baking powder.
- Fold in the plums.
- Spoon into the cake tin and bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Check it after an hour. Mine took exactly one hour.
- If you are serving warm as a dessert you can either serve straightaway or let cool and then gently warm when required (as long as you store the cold cake in an airtight tin you should be ok for at least a couple of days).
- If you are making the icing simply mix the icing sugar and water until you have a thick, smooth, glossy icing. Then spoon over the top of the cool cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Holler said...

I am glad you have come around to Nigella, I like her. In fact, I have her on tv just now, while I bake cookies! Cake looks yum!

glamah16 said...

You do like your plums and alminds. They are the best!I need to jump on the Nigella bandwagon. I have never purcgased her books.Im lovin that vanila custard.

Blog Princess said...


Attach drool cup!! I love anything to do with almonds and plums too! I'll be making this stat. Thank you for sharing! I'm making a plum/walnut tart next weekend. Excuse the exclamation marks, I just get very excited at such stunning food pictures. hee hee.

Blog Princess said...

One more question.... the parchment lining of the pan - it looks like it's made for a round pan. Did you buy that especially? I would love to find it somewhere instead of wrestling with the scissors etc. that seem to consume me each time I make a round cake.

The Caked Crusader said...

Thanks for the question Blog Princess

Not sure where you are but I buy my liners from Lakeland Limited:!5550_5551

Hope this helps!

The Caked Crusader

Blog Princess said...

Thanks CC, I'm in Toronto, but I bet I can find something somewhere like that!

Big Boys Oven said...

this is hot, really hot babe! I like your plum cake. Our plums in KL are mostly from Australia. I am going to trying to do something with dates as I just found some thicken date's juice which suitable to make mousse qand also taking the freah dates to make the cake! will let you know my findings soon! You are a real hot babe!

Rosie said...

You have reminded me to get my H.T.B.A.D.G book out again after viewing your stunning winter plum cake!! It looks moist and yummy :)

Rosie x

Ling's Passion said...

I love your plum cake. Looks absolutely delicious. BTW, I bought that Nigella's book too. But still collecting dust on the shelf. Will put to good use, hopefully in time to come.

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Wow...a perfectly baked cake.. lovely texture and looks moist and DELICIOUS ..great work!!

Cakespy said...

That cake looks so good--you're right! that texture!--that I'd love to just skip to those last two steps!! :-) Yum!

Anonymous said...

Delicious cake; I used apricots instead of plums, and it was gorgeous. As you say, the texture is particularly soft and tender. Mine was cooked well before 45 min though - but my oven is ferocious :-) Thanks for the post CC!