Category: Baking,Recipes | Post by: Andrea Wong
Some friends have a big, beautiful Luisa plum tree in their back yard and its short season is an annual battle between letting them ripen on the tree and picking them before the birds start nibbling at their juicy flesh.
I think that the birds win, the evidence being lots of slightly pecked fruit having fallen to the ground, unwanted by human hands.
The plums that my friends do manage to keep for themselves, are generously shared around - oh happy days, I love the stone fruit season! With around a dozen Luisa plums sitting in my fruit bowl, I flicked through Nigella Lawson's book - Feast - and spotted her Damp Apple And Almond Cake. The apples (or in my case, plums) don't feature in the cake as fruity chunks but are instead mashed and mixed throughout, its juice adding to the 'dampness' of the cake.
This cake is quite different to my usual - this one is devoid of flour, butter or oil (apart from greasing the tin) - making it gluten-free and dairy-free. And with no baking powder either, it's quite dense but is quite nice for an afternoon tea treat.
Do try it and let me know what you think!
Damp plum and almond cake
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
9 Luisa plums
2 tsp caster sugar
Flavourless oil for greasing the tin (I used rice bran oil)
325g ground almonds
275g caster sugar
50g flaked almonds
1 tsp icing sugar
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, dunk the plums in for a minute then immediately drop them into a large bowl containing iced water. Peel the skin off the chop roughly
- Put the chopped plums into a pot with the sugar and over a medium heat, bring them to a bubble. Turn down the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Take off the heat and leave to cool. You should have around 300g of fruit
- Preheat your oven to 180ºc and grease a 20cm spring form tin with the oil and line the bottom with baking paper
- Put the fruit into a food processor with the eggs, ground almonds and caster sugar and blitz until it becomes a pureé
- Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and bake for around 60 mins
- Cool slightly before removing the cake from the tin. Sieve icing sugar over the top just before serving.
Nigella recommends eating this cake while it's still warm, but we enjoyed this cake mainly at room temperature. And indeed it was deliciously damp!