29 June 2012
Plums II: caking harder
After I started my two batches of plum-infused liquor and gave a bunch of the non-liquor-drenched plums away, I still had about 80 plums left. That is, I had 80 left from that one broken branch. I haven't even started harvesting the REST of the tree.
This is one of those times when I really wish I liked jam more. Oh well.
Instead, I decided to bake a plum yogurt cake. I made this almost exactly as written, only substituting wheat flour for all-purpose.
Wheaty teacakes with lots of summer stone fruit are a pretty classic choice at our house. This time I crammed in as much fruit as I possibly could: 21 chopped plums in an 8x8 square. I actually threw a bunch of chopped plums into the cake pan before pouring in the batter, and then added even more plums to the top.
Notice the abundant plum juice all over the counter.
Plum yogurt cake
1 1/2 c wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
1/2 c plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c oil
and all the plums you can get your hands on.
Preheat your oven to 350F/175C; oil and flour your cake pan. I used an 8x8 square, but a loaf pan or round 8 or 9-inch pan should also work.
Traditional cake recipes want you to sift all your dry ingredients together in one bowl, mix or cream the wet ingredients in another, and then fold the dry into the wet. I usually go the other direction, so I mixed the sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla, stirred in the baking powder and salt, and then added the flour 1/2 c at a time. I added the oil last, per the linked recipe, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't add it to the initial wet mix.
Wash & chop your plums, leaving the skins on. Strew a layer of plum pieces in your prepared pan. Pour your batter evenly into the pan. Then add all the rest of your plums to the top of the batter. I recommend sinking them as much as possible, because poking the fruit down into the batter ensures many, many pockets of delicious plum goo. Just look!
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top is golden brown. Test with a toothpick like you'd test any cake.
Cool on a rack in the pan for at least 15-20 minutes before removing. I left my cake in the pan, largely because we're out of parchment paper. Oh no! That's ok, though; it's still delicious cake.
Each piece of plum added a burst of sour flavor from the skin, while the cake provided a medium-sweet backdrop. A not-too-sweet cake you can eat with coffee or for breakfast? Yes, please!
I think this cake is especially good with a whack of plain tart labneh--Middle Eastern strained yogurt--or Greek yogurt on top of each serving. Hey, there's already yogurt in the batter--why not put some more on top? If you are more into the sweet, you could always sift some powdered sugar over the finished cake instead.
Now all I need to do is find something to do with the 60 or so plums we still have chilling on the kitchen counter. I have a feeling more schnapps is in our future.
ETA: Hey, guess what? Noelle just made the same cake, minus plums! Hooray!