On our route home from work there is a little fruit and vegetable shop that is convenient when we have our last minute thoughts about what to have for dinner. Last night we called in to get some supplies for making salads and when eyeing up the fruit I noticed that they had some Black Doris Plums that were nearing their end of life and were on sale. I looked at them and thought to myself “Yessss, they would make a delicious Plum Sponge Cake”.
There are a couple of things to note with this recipe. It says “butter softened” and it means it. There is no creaming of the butter and sugar so butter won’t easily incorporate into the other ingredients if it isn’t soft. Secondly, it says ‘ground almonds’ and it’s at this point that I usually realise that I don’t have any. But I do always have blanched almonds in the freezer, so don’t be shy about grinding them in one of those chopping things that you use with a whizz on a stick. And lastly, note the lower temperate…..only 160 deg C.
I wanted to also touch briefly on how to easily chop up the plums. I learnt this when I made my first batch of plum chutney. You’ll notice that the plum has a ‘crease’. The stone inside is in line with this. Therefore if you cut just slightly to the left and right of this crease you will find it easy to cut the plum almost into halves.
Plum Sponge Cake
1 C flour
2 t baking powder
175gm butter softened
3/4 C caster sugar (you can use Golden Caster Sugar if you want)
3 eggs beaten
¼ t almond extract
70gm ground almonds
About 6 plums (depends on the size of the plums)
- Preheat oven to 160 deg C (320 deg F). Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add the butter, caster sugar, eggs and almond extract. Beat well until mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the ground almonds.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth out flat with a palette knife.
- Lightly place the plums onto the mixture. Do not press them down.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Leave to cool slightly then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
This is delicious served warm with yoghurt or cream or just dusted in icing sugar (confectioners sugar).
What’s your favour Summer fruit for baking with?