September 14, 2010

Dimply Plum Cake

If you've been following this blog, you might have noticed my obsession with Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours. One recipe stood out as a little weird and I remember thinking that I would never make it in a million years. But then in my food blog surfing, Dorie's Dimply Plum Cake showed up again and again. And surprisingly people were raving about it.

So when plums showed up at the farmer's market, my fate was sealed. I had to try this cake out for myself. The verdict? I loved it! The plums turned out juicier and sweeter than when raw and accompanied the slightly sweet cake perfectly. The flesh of the plums also magically turned from yellow to purple during baking.

The original recipe says to bake the cake for 35-40 minutes. At 35 minutes, mine was already overbaked a little, so I've adjusted the baking time to 30-35 minutes. As the plums are halved, I would recommend using smaller plums instead of large ones.

Dimply Plum Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/2 cups (170 g) plain or all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
scant 1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange
4 large plums or 6 to 8 small ones, cut in half and pitted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a round or square 8-inch cake pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cardamom.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and add the oil, vanilla and orange zest. Again on medium speed, beat the batter until it looks smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth it down with a spatula. Arrange the plums on the cake, cut side up, and press down slightly so they nestle into the batter. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top is golden and puffy around the edges.

Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, the cake can be wrapped and stored for up to two days.

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