Words are such funny things. Just one word can contain such a myriad of meanings depending on its usage, context, user etc. Take the word 'plum'. To some the obvious link will be made with the gorgeous autumnal fruit with a misty bloom that dissipates with the lightest of strokes. Others will immediately think of something agreeable, pleasant, undemanding or even comfy (according to my reliable online Thesaurus).
So when searching for a fitting end to two meals with two seperate but equally 'plum' and dear friends, and, given the plethora of cheap Victorias in the local shop, the obvious solution was a plum cake.
One quick skate through my burgeoning library of cookery bakes and a hurried stock-take of the cupboards later, I arrived at the following adaptation of Nigel Slater's 'wonderfully moist, fresh plum cake', using what I had to hand. And, I confess, my irritating habit of tweaking every recipe I try.
Plum and Ginger Cake
150g unsalted butter, softened
75g unrefined caster sugar
75g demerera sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
75g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger
100g ground almonds
50g chopped nuts (I used almonds)
4 nuggets of stem ginger, chopped
12-16 plums (depending on size)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Line the base of a 20cm square cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides with butter.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs slowly, adding a spoon or two of flour with each addition to avoid curdling.
4. Mix to combine then stir in remainder flour, baking powder and ground ginger.
5. Stir in the ground almonds, chopped nuts and the stem ginger. Stir well but with a light hand.
6. Spoon the cake mixture into the cake tin and level the top.
7. Stone and quarter the plums. Scatter as evenly as possible over the top of the cake mixture.
8. Pop the cake tin into the centre of the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer emerges cleanly when inserted.
9. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then remove.
I divided the results into two pieces. The first was taken as an after-dinner offering to the wonderfully accomplished cook (and reluctant blogger Xochitl) last night. The remainder is to be post-lunch or afternoon tea treat for my darling friends Peter and Max in only a matter of hours.
Plum treats for plum friends.