Sunday, 9 September 2012

Plum sponge slices





This was my attempt to recreate one of my all time favourite cakes – the plum slice I had in the Fortress cafe in Salzburg




The cake is a sponge base topped with a cream cheese concoction and sliced plums.  The recipe I was going to follow used a fat free sponge.  I am totally willing to accept it is me, but I hate fat free sponges.  Not because they’re fat free (ok, maybe a tiny bit because of that) but because they taste so eggy.  Is it me?  Have I had bad examples?  What’s the secret to making a fat free sponge which doesn’t taste like scrambled eggs?  Teach me!




Anyway, I used my standard cupcake sponge recipe instead and it worked well.  When I looked back at my Salzburg photos, I think they used a similar type of sponge too so I felt vindicated!




The tang of the cream cheese with the fruit and the sponge is a heavenly combination.  There is no sugar in the cream cheese topping other than the jam.  The apricot jam worked well but next time I might try to match the jam to the fruit on top – I think that would be nice. 




You will notice that my plums aren’t submerged in the topping (oo-er.  It’s impossible to refer to plums without sniggering – maybe this is a British thing?).  This is because I thought that, in using tinned plums, there wouldn’t be a need to stew them first and they would break down in the oven.  As we can all see...they didn’t.  It had no effect on the flavour but does look a little curious.  Next time I would cook them a bit to soften them up.



Ingredients

For the plums:
250g fresh plums, halved and stoned
50g golden caster sugar
100ml boiling water

Or...

250g tinned plums in syrup, halved and stoned

For the sponge:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
125g self raising flour
1 tablespoon milk

For the cream cheese:
200g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
3 tablespoons apricot jam


Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Grease a 30cm x 20cm traybake tin.  I used a disposable foil one.

Start with the plums: if you’re using fresh stew them with the sugar and water for 5-10 minutes or until the plums are soft.  Leave to cool in the syrup.

If you’re using tinned plums, put the plums, along with their syrup in a saucepan and just warm through enough to soften them. (I didn’t do this, which is why mine are sitting proud out of the cheesecake...it looks a bit silly, but didn’t change the flavour)

Now make the sponge: beat together the butter and sugar until soft and whippy.

Beat in the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the flour and the milk.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean.  Don’t overbake as the tin will be returned to the oven later.

Put the sponge to one side to cool.

Now make the cream cheese layer: beat together the cream cheese and apricot jam until smooth and runny.

Spread over the sponge and sit the plum halves, skin side down, in the cheese.

Spoon over about 3 tablespoons of the syrup.

Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the top has taken on a light golden colour.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Serve in squares, with thick cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.

Eat.

17 comments:

suesaxony said...

What an interesting idea - having a baked jammy cream cheese layer. Sounds lovely!

Soo said...

I am sure (well, almost sure) that there might be a nice fat free sponge out there - but I don't believe for a second that any Austrian cake shop would make one.

Looks yummmmm.

Emine said...

I'm with susie, this is both interesting and lovely! Plums and dessert go superbly well together x

Choclette said...

Ooh err Mrs indeed! This sounds fascinating. I was really surprised to see the cream cheese layer going into the oven, but I guess it's no different to cheesecake. It sounds delicious and I really want to try it.

Miss C Flash said...

I've never heard of this recipe before, but from the pictures it looks like the combination of ingredients have really worked out well. A lovely treat x

Lisa Shannon said...

whoop whoop!! I was about to make a crumble for tomorrow night with the ruck of plums I seem to have accumulated, this looks so lovely and much more interesting. Furthermore, I have all the ingredients in my cupboard and fridge. Thank you CC x

Caroline said...

Oooh, I love the idea of combining cake, cream cheese and delicious melting fruit - I can see why this is one of your favourite cakes ever.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What delicious ingredients! It looks lovely too

sensibilia said...

An interesting recipe. I wonder whether this is the same cafe at which, many years ago, I ate "Salzburgergermknodeln". (Salzburg yeast dumplings). This dish likewise included a lovely cooked plum mix, and I tried to recreate it at home. Unfortunately I lack your skill and finesse. The outcome was described by my then flatmate as "Rat Rissoles". That person is no longer in my circle of acquaintances!

Debs Dust Bunny said...

I enjoy your blog so much. You always have such interesting recipes, classy and elegant. Where do you find them? Matters not as long as you continue to share them with us. Thanks!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Debs

Aw, thanks! I have far too many cookbooks (well over 1000, probably nearing 2,000) but this recipe is actually my own invention!

Happy baking

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - I love me a plum cake. Cream cheese topping sounds decadent.

Laura loves cakes said...

Yum...these look really tasty! I love the cream cheese topping too. I've also been baking with plums this week...such a great ingredient! :-)

Laura loves cakes said...

Yum...these look really tasty! I love the cream cheese topping too. I've also been baking with plums this week...such a great ingredient! :-)

Baking Addict said...

This sounds delicious especially the cream cheese topping. I'm not a fan of fat free sponges either but have made them a few times out of necessity!

Maggie said...

My kind of cake/dessert - great invention. Looks temptingly delicious too.

morri said...

This cake made it to the top of my baking list (right after the ginger almond slice), even though it contains no spices and no almonds. The secret? I love plums and I adore cheesecake, but I've never, I mean NEVER seen those two ingredients appear together in one cake. Plum cheesecake?! Sign me up!

I decided to use your suggestion about "matching the jam to the fruit", so I used prune butter instead of apricot jam. This affected the cake's looks a bit - instead of dark plums against a pristine white background, I got dark plums on something a bit less dark and vaguely chocolate-y in appearance. Also, the prune butter wasn't sweetened, so I ended up adding a tablespoon of honey - it'd probably be best to just use sweet jam. My plums didn't really submerge in the topping either, but I don't think they could - the layer was about 0,5 cm thick. And the topping didn't set in the oven like cheesecakes do - it was more like a cream cheese frosting.

And another thing about the cake? It completely demolished my self-restraint. I've already had two slices (very modest ones, but two nevertheless). and I'm still contemplating some more. The fruity cream cheese layer, the plum syrup and the sweet sponge work together like charm. You can be really proud of a concoction like that: for me, it's probably one of the best on the blog.