I never really know what my next post is going to be. It is usually guided by the season of the moment but apart from that, I get my ideas from just about anywhere. Like last fortnight, when one of the total five readers that this blog has, asked me for a plum and frangipane cake, I was more than ready to oblige. And then Ma pointed out that it's been a while since I had baked a cake. Considering she is also among those five readers, I couldn't put it off any longer!
So, on 'popular demand', I made a plum coffee cake. And no, a coffee cake has no coffee in it, it is just meant to be had with a cup of coffee!!
Cakes like this one are my favourite cakes to bake and you will see versions and adaptations of it in the recipe index. It is seasonal and so simple that all it requires is a hand whisk and two bowls, one each for the dry and wet ingredients. Once you have all the ingredients in front of you, it doesn't take more than ten minutes before you can pop it in the oven.
This is a simple cake that is given character with ground almonds and orange juice. It has no butter but uses a yoghurt-oil mixture that yields a super moist cake. The best part of the cake is its topping. The plums are sprinkled with sugar before baking. This ensures that the fruit cooks during baking and goes all soft and roasted and it releases all its beautiful juices that makes it just the perfect accompaniment for that cake beneath it.
While the fruit cooks, the sugar sprinkled on top caramelises to make this dark, slightly crunchy crust that contrasts beautifully with the vibrant, moist cake inside. You don't need to serve this cake with anything, just maybe a cup of coffee.
This is such a flavourful cake that has this beautiful, rustic charm about it that I can see you enjoying it as much as we did.
And if you have any ideas for future blog posts, I am always listening! Have a great week ahead!!
Plum Coffee Cake
Source : 'Joy of Baking', minimally adapted.
Makes a 8-inch round cake**
Makes a 8-inch round cake**
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable, flavourless, odourless oil
- 1/2 cup whole milk yoghurt
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- zest of one orange
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I used demerara sugar, you can use white, regular sugar)
- 4-5 red plums, halved and pits removed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, for sprinkling
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C. Butter and flour one - 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan.
- In a large bowl, stir or whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
- In another large bowl, stir or whisk together the oil, yogurt, orange juice and zest, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix it or it will yield a very tough cake.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the batter, flesh side facing up. Sprinkle with the 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- To make a smaller cake, use a 6-inch cake mould and halve all the ingredients. Most ingredients can easily be halved except for the egg. To use half the egg, break open one egg, whisk it gently and only use half of it for the recipe.