Cindy returned from her travels early on a Monday morning, and I wanted to have something worthy to greet her with. I turned to Nigella for help, settling on this recipe for a winter plum cake. It seemed well within my limitations technically (no separating of eggs, no layers), but still seemed fancy enough to serve as a welcome-home treat.
I still managed to cock things up initially, and had to restart from scratch after combining the wrong ingredients. Once I actually read the recipe things came together pretty easily. The end result was superb: the almond essence shone through, and the canned plums added bursts of sweet fruitiness. It doesn't need much icing - I used the simple lemon glaze from this recipe. We polished the whole thing off in a matter of days - I'll definitely make it again.
Winter plum cake
(slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess)
1 600g can of plums (I could only find a 800g can, so I just snacked on the rest), drained
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond essence
Grease and line a 20 cm springform cake tin
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Chop the plums and pop them into a sieve to drain.
Mix together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder in a large bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the eggs, adding a tablespoon of the flour mixture after each one and then beat through the almond essence.
Fold in the rest of the flour mixture and the chopped plums.
Pour and scrape the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes.
When the cake's ready, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes or so before popping it out of the cake tin.
Ice with your icing of choice (I used the lemon glaze from this recipe).