Spending this month browsing and contemplating recipes from Karen Martini’s Cooking At Home for The Cookbook Guru has got me going off on all kinds of tangents. Her food is really quite fragrant, easy to produce and very flavourful. This cake had me at almonds and baked plums but what really got me was the taste. As far as cake goes it’s actually not very sweet which is awesome. For me its reminiscent of an Italian baked cheesecake, savoury but just sweet enough to be a treat. My kind of dessert!
There is a process to this cake but whilst it takes time it really isn’t complicated and the end result makes its worth it. Roasting the fruit intensifies the flavour as well as releasing some of the liquid so that you don’t end up with soggy cake. The thicker batter with the almond meal is solid and slightly savoury which supports the fruit well and balances out the tartness of the citrus. I love the added crunch of the flaked almonds that toasted themselves perfectly to cap off this cake.
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that I think it would lend itself perfectly to being made with rhubarb instead of the plums and perhaps even an apple version could work…. all future ideas so stay tuned.
For now though feast yourself on the deliciousness of this cake and make it for a special treat, or just because. (click through on the heading for a recipe only page for printing)
adapted from karenmartini.com
- 400g plums, stoned and sliced into quarters
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 60g castor sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds removed
- 170g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 100g almond meal
- 150g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 30g butter
- 25g brown sugar
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 30g flaked almonds
Pre-heat your oven to 180c. Grease and line a 26cm spring form pan.
Cut your plums and place them in a ceramic dish with the sugar, lemon juice and zest and the vanilla seeds. Toss to coat the plums with the sugar and lemon and then place in the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and then remove from the heat.
When your plums are cooked you can then start the cake. Cream your 150g of butter with the 150g of caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add your eggs in one at a time, combining well before adding in the next. In a separate bowl combine your flour, baking powder and almond meal, then add to your butter and egg mixture. Combine well. Your batter will be quite thick and only just cover the base of your baking tin with about a 1 1/2cm depth. Spoon the plums over the cake leaving aside the juice as much as possible.
Bake the cake for approximately 30 minutes at 180c. At this time add the topping. To prepare it combine the orange juice and zest, the almonds, brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and combine and cook until the butter has melted. Pour over the cooked cake. Don’t worry about the liquid that sits on top of the cake, this will reduce and intensify in flavour as it bakes and the batter is dense enough to carry it.
Return the cake back to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Your almonds will look nice and toasted.
Allow to cool and then remove from the pan.
This cake is best served fresh with some double cream or marscapone cheese.
Happy Baking & Happy Eating,