Friday, December 5, 2014

Plum Cake


Plum cake

Coming back home after a two-week stay in Delhi, I brought a whole lot of ingredients and a small packet of pricey plums! Browsing the tempting shelves at Modern Bazar, I had visions of a cake, sitting pretty on my new cake stand. The sliced pieces tinged with the deepest shades of red!! I couldn't wait to get back to my oven! But returning home and the routine that follows (after each trip) is a punishing one. There's SO much to be done. 
Despite all that work it was a joy to see the new blooms and today's harvest. Two kinds of beans, French and hyacinth. The latter is symbolic with our winters. There are many shapes and sizes but this is the only one I am growing. It's more than enough for us. Most of the beans are distributed between family and friends.
This morning's pictures...caught the dew on the nasturtium too!
Just a thought about plums...when we were kids we had 5-6 plum trees in our backyard. The blooming period was beautiful and the fruit-bearing/ripening season, more so. We used to call them alu-bakra, our own version of the Hindi word for the fruit- alu-bukhara. Although the fruits were sour and turned sweet only at the over-ripe stage, we loved them to bits. They were consumed with salt and crushed or powdered chillies and my mother made them into jelly that tasted so good with bread. But for baking they wouldn't have been good at all as they were too acidic.


I used only three plums for this recipe and it looked as though the slices were overcrowding the cake tin. But as the baking progressed, the batter rose, the plums sank a bit, enough to create a pattern on the top. I don't remember why I didn't snap a picture before the cake went in. Could be the thought of all the chores waiting to be done!

Ingredients:
140 grams plain flour+ extra for dusting the tin
50 grams almond meal
110 grams fine sugar
120 grams butter at room temperature+ extra for greasing the tin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon powder 
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Some milk
3 plums, sliced evenly

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a 9" cake tin and dust it with flour.
Combine the flour, almond meal, the cinnamon and baking powders and keep aside.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs one by one and whisk till fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract. Add a bit of milk (about 4 tbs).
Fold in the flour mix and transfer the batter to the baking tin.
Even out the batter with a knife or a spatula.
Arrange the sliced plums all along the surface forming a pattern.
Bake for 45-40 minutes till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack and serve while still warm.

Because of the browning, I reduced the the temperature to 160C after 35 minutes. I did not use a foil as I felt that the slightly singed look on the plums would look attractive, rather like the appearance of a well-baked French apple tart.
 
The wooden cake stand that happily followed me home!:)

Although the cake looked a little too brown, that didn't make any difference to the taste. It's a lovely moist cake and I had it with a cup of tea and a little bit of whipped honey-cream.
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