Tuesday, 12 May 2009

March Plum Cake in May

I made this cake for the first time in March.

I know, I know, plums aren't in season in March, but I had a couple of them kicking around, looking a bit dodgy in the bottom of my fridge.

Some friends were popping by for tea,including the 2 year old twins from next door.
Whenever my name is mentioned to the twinnies, they say 'Lotte Cake'; so under considerable pressure to perform and be the cake queen/mistress/doyenne of the lane, I used the shriveled old fruit, crossed my fingers and March Plum Cake was born.

Tension was in the air as Olive and Alice picked up a slice of cake with their chubby fingers. A small bead of nervous sweat emanated from my brow as I watched them closely for their reaction. All eyes fell on their befuddled expressions as they bit into the dense almondy cake and got squidgy plums down their best dresses.

No pressure girls, but...do....you... like...my...cake?

They didn't answer as, in a split second before any of us could react, they had buried their entire faces up to their necks in the rest of the cake.

I'll take that as a 'yes' then

(Apologies for gratuitous shot of my cat asleep amongst the chives, she just looked so sweet the other day!)

March Plum Cake
4 large plums – halved and stoned
8oz (225g) butter
8oz (225g) soft brown sugar
Grated zest of half an orange
4 large eggs
6oz (175g) self-raising flour
2oz (50g) ground almonds

Grease and line a 9 inch cake tin

Preheat the oven to 180c or Mk4

1. Place the plum halves skin side down on the bottom of your cake tin.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add 1 tsp of flour to the mixture between each addition.
4. Fold in the rest of the flour and the almonds and pour over the plums in the cake tin.
5. Spread evenly and place in the oven for 25 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 150c or Mk2 and cook until the cake is set in the middle and comes away from the edges. This may take another 40 minutes or so.
6. If it goes a little too brown, cover with some foil.
7. This is a lovely moist cake, so don’t over-cook it.

( This picture of March Plum Cake was made by friend Jacqueline when she came to me this week for her monthly cooking day. )