Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Most Glorious Plum Cake

I used to detest the sound of my alarm - you know, the standard iPhone "marimba" tune before the iOS7.  And I never bothered changing the settings on my iPhone so it was the same as my ringtone.  For four years I had kept it like that, and so it meant that now I have the horrible habit of always keeping my phone on silent, but also that I've developed this extraordinary ability to wake up just minutes before my alarm everyday.  And thank god now everyone with an iPhone has updated their systems and don't have that marimba tune anymore.  Yea, you can imagine how tense I got every time someone with an iPhone (ie everyone) got a call. 
The point is, today I woke up to my alarm surprisingly.  The new iPhone one isn't too bad, it's quite soft and gentle, "ding ding.....ding ding...".  The marimba was just too upbeat.  It's like people who listen to Beyonce or heavy metal first thing in the morning to get them going. What the hell.  I like waking up to natural sunlight, birds chirping and the smell of butter and sugar.  Gently and gradually being pulled away from my beauty sleep. 

So I woke up this morning and I made this cake.  The most glorious plum cake.  It's not my recipe, I got it from Food52, I've just made a few changes.  It's originally called "Late Summer Plum Cake", but first of all, it's the beginning of Spring right now in Scotland, and also I feel like that name does it no justice.  It came out of the oven and honestly, the best word to describe it was "glorious.

Lightly adapted from Food52
1 1/2 cup  all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 1 lemon
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2/3 cups  sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cups creme fraiche
2 tbsp raspberry liquor
2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
10 small to medium, firm-ripe prune plums, halved lengthwise and pitted
Lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream or crème fraîche, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C, with a rack in the lower third. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan.

Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a handheld mixer), beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the creme fraiche, raspberry liquor and lemon zest until well combined. On low speed, add the flour mixture just until combined. (The batter will be thick.)
Spread half of the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and top with half of the plum halves, cut side down. Dollop and spread the remaining batter over the plums. Arrange the remaining  plum halves, cut side up, over the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar over the plums.

Bake until the cake is golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean (assuming you haven’t hit a plum), 50 to 55 minutes, rotating the pan front to back a little past halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Run a thin knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Invert a flat plate over the pan. Using oven mitts if needed, grasp the plate and pan tightly together on both sides and invert the plate and pan to release the cake onto the plate. Lift off the pan and peel off the parchment. Invert the cake again onto a serving plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream, if desire


  1. Just came across your blog today and I'm charmed! It sure is the season for a plum cake and this one looks excellent, a little Framboise is a great finishing touch to a dessert.

    1. aw thank you! and yes a little bit of alcohol in desserts is always good :D


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