Plum Coffee Cake
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Prune Plums look so pretty sitting on top of this Plum Coffee Cake. You may think that plums,
cut in half, would dry out during baking but the opposite is true. Heat causes
the plums to soften and their juices to be released, so by the end of the baking
time they have become wonderfully soft and jam-like with nicely caramelized
edges. And the cake. This cake is deliciously moist and flavorful, and no electric mixer is
needed to make the batter. The ingredients are simply stirred together in a
bowl, similar to how you make a muffin batter. The cake contains both all-purpose flour and ground almonds, which
adds a nice flavor and a grainy texture. There is also no butter in this recipe,
instead a combination of oil, yogurt, and orange juice are used which results in
a moist and dense textured cake.
There are many varieties of plums in the world. Some are good for
eating fresh while others come into their own when used to make jams or in
sweet and savory dishes. The Italian Prune Plum is the plum I use the most
in baking. It is fairly small in size with a oval or egg
shape. Its thin skin is smooth with a pretty blue,
almost purplish color that is covered with a slivery grey bloom. Once you
cut into its yellowy green dense flesh you will find it tastes sweet, with
a hint of tanginess. To cut
plums, first, with a sharp knife, cut the plum in half by following the
natural crease in the plum's skin. Then, holding one half of the plum,
gently twist the other half. The plum should easily fall into two halves
so the pit can be removed.
As I mentioned above, this cake contains ground almonds. You can either
buy almond meal/flour or else you can make your own by placing whole or
sliced almonds in your food processor and processing them until finely
ground. Almond meal/flour can be found at some grocery stores or else in
specialty food stores, health food stores, or online.
Plum Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 400
degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour one
- 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan. (Alternatively spray pan with non stick
vegetable/flour spray.) Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir or whisk
together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
In another large bowl, stir or
whisk together the oil, yogurt, orange juice and zest, egg, and vanilla extract.
Stir in the sugar. Add the
wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Scrape the
batter into the prepared pan and evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the
batter, flesh side facing up. Sprinkle with the 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar.
Bake in preheated
oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted in the center of
the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Makes one - 8 inch (20 cm)
Olson, Anna & Olson, Michael. 'Cook
at Home'. Whitecap Books. North Vancouver: 2006.
Plum Coffee Cake:
1 1/4 cups (175
grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) ground
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) flavorless oil (safflower, corn, or canola)
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk plain yogurt
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (the outer orange skin (rind) of the orange)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
7 - 8 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted (can also use 4 - 5 red plums)
tablespoons (30 grams) coarse brown sugar (I like to use Turbinado or Demerara