8.03.2010

Plum-Blueberry Cake

Plum-Blueberry Cake

It's the middle of summer, so there's no way around making a plum cake. Instead of sticking to the tried and tested, I went for a new recipe but ended up with somewhat mixed results.
First, this is originally intended to be served as an upside-down cake. But with the brown sugar mixture getting turned into a brown-bluish, sticky slush by the fruit juices flowing down during baking (you can actually see a nice gradient of the juice distribution in the picture above) this was not a pretty sight, so I turned the cake back right-side up.
Second, the sweetness of the brown sugar mixture will almost cover up any fruity taste of the plums and berries, so I scraped it off.
What I liked about this cake was the light, spongy cake structure, when eaten while still warm (as recommended by the recipe). I might try this again without the brown sugar in the bottom as an apple-cinnamon cake.
One thing, which seems to be an actual error in the recipe, is the number of plums used. To end up with one pound of plums, I had to use about thirty. Maybe that number should read 26 to 28.

Maybe there are different kinds of plums but the ones around here are about the size of a golf ball or to put it another way a little taller than a standard Lego figurine. Speaking of which.

Don't have a macro lense for your camera?
Just bake a bigger cake.


See, I've recently upgraded my camera from a Fuji FinePix bridge camera to a Pentax k-x DSLR. Before settling on a specific camera, I 've been browsing through some photography blogs to check out opinions on the current models on the market and stumbled on a LEGO a day. A blog where Dan, amateur photographer and school teacher, published one funny/quirky picture of a Lego figurine in a real life environment per day for one year from 2008 to 2009. Now after a one-year break, he's started another year of daily pictures. Maybe you'd like to head over and take a look.


Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

Topping:

3 Tbsp (45 g) butter
3/4 cuo (170 g) packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups (170 g) blueberries
6 to 8 plums (450 g) halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch slices

Cake:

1 1/2 cup (210 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk, at room temperature

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 28 cm spring form with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the brown sugar and mix until completely moistened. Set aside to cool.

Spread the butter mixture evenly onto the bottom of the spring form. Sprinkle half of the blueberries on top, then add the plum slices in an even layer and finally sprinkle on the rest of the blueberries.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they become white and increase slightly in volume. Fold in the vanilla and eggs. Add half of the flour and all of the salt and baking powder and fold in. Add the milk, fold in. Then add the rest of the flour and fold in. The result will be more like a batter than a cake dough. Pour the batter into the spring form and give it a little tap, so it settles in evenly. Bake for about an hour and a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Set on a wire rack to cool.

6 comments:

mrphelps said...

Thanks for the plug! Love your photo - I have yet to use that same figure with the camera. Come to think of it - I should have done it on the first day! Oh well. I love that you picked a Pentax K-x. Fantastic little camera. I love my Pentax dSLR, and it's still great after 10,000+ clicks over nearly 4 years. My wife still uses a Pentax film SLR - it's gorgeous. Good luck with the camera!

Jeanne said...

Congrats on the new camera - the pictures look great! I love the idea of plum cake. I've got a basket of fresh plums on my counter right now that aren't going to be around long enough to make cake (too delicious). Thanks for sharing the Lego a day blog, I've never seen it before!

Joanne said...

I'm sorry this didn't turn out exactly the way you liked! The texture looks splendid though. I need to bake with fruit some more this summer!

mimicooks said...

Lol, lol!! That Lego guy is too funny!!

George said...

Sounds and especially looks very delicious! Blueberries are yummy and I also love plums, but never thought about them as a potential tag team! Great idea. And I do LOVE your "make a bigger cake" pic!

Elle said...

One of the downsides of baking with blueberries is that color thing...batter can even turn gray. Our plums are closer to the size of a baseball than a golf ball, so maybe that is the size they are thinking of. Lovely cake to have with a cup of tea. Bet it would be grand with apples.