Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black Plum Cake Recipe

It’s the start of plum season and I needed a dessert for North Plainfield’s Music Night that would be a sweet accompaniment to the wonderful jazz, rock and folk music that my neighbors create. 
The music was fabulous and the cake was a hit.
I followed Dorie’s recipe for Dimply Plum Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours.  As you can see from my photos, I used a rather large orange, which made my cake very orangey.  So orangey that it overpowered the cardamom.  It tasted great, but I knew the cardamom flavor was missing.   I will definitely make this again. 

Black Plum Cake Recipe
Serves :                                                  Prep Time:                                   Cook Time:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil,
Grated zest of 1 orange- use a small one or don’t use all of zest
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums, halved and pitted
Raw Sugar-  (if plums are tart)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.
Beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each egg goes in. Still working on medium speed, beat in the oil, zest and vanilla—the batter will look smooth and creamy.  Reduce the mixer speed to lowest speed and carefully add the dry ingredients ( no dust storm in the kitchen, please), mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter—make four rows of four plum halves each—jiggling the plums a little  so they settle comfortably into the batter.  I add a sprinkling of raw sugar on top if my plums are alittle tart.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes—during which time the plums’ juices will seep back into the cake—then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
Top cake with powdered sugar
Dorie suggests that you can wrap the cake and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days, during which time it will get softer and moister.

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