One thing that’s always a good idea no matter what mood I’m in is re-reading my Nigella cookbooks. I picked up her important book How To Be A Domestic Goddess from my cookbook stack and it actually fell open right upon the perfect recipe for what I was thinking of – a very simple brown sugar cake with canned plums and ground almonds in it. I fiddled with it a very small amount, mostly by adding some cinnamon and plum juice to the icing because I’m obsessed with making everything smell like cinnamon at the moment, and the cake worked perfectly.
I discovered some electric beaters at the back of a cupboard in my apartment and tried using them to make the batter, and holy wow do they make a difference. I mean, every single cake that you’ve seen on this blog or in my book has been made with a wooden spoon or a whisk (including the pavlovas) and I can’t belieeeeve how much lighter and volumised the beaters make the batter. It’s kind of embarrassing, this cake turned out one and a half as big as mine usually do. I really like making cakes by hand but yeah, the results are, if nothing else, making me want to do some push ups or something so I can try and beat the machine.
winter plum cake with cinnamon plum icing
adapted a bit from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s important book How To Be A Domestic Goddess
125g soft butter
one cup brown sugar
one cup flour
one 70g packet of ground almonds
one and a half teaspoons baking powder
six plums from a tin of black doris plums, roughly chopped (and stones removed, obvs)
half a cup or so icing sugar
a tablespoon or so of the juice from the can of plums
Set your oven to 170 C and line the base of a 20cm springform tin with baking paper. Beat the butter and brown sugar together till it’s all light and fluffy and delicious. Continue, beating in the eggs till they’re completely incorporated. Fold in the almonds, flour, baking powder and plums. By the way, the canned plums are so soft that I just lift them out one at a time with a spoon, and use another spoon to carve off chunks into the cake batter. But by all means chop them on a chopping board.
Spatula all this into the caketin and bake for an hour and a quarter, although check it out at after an hour has gone by, all ovens are unique and special snowflakes.
Let the cake cool for a while in the tin, then run a knife around the inside of the tin and carefully transfer the cake to a plate to cool completely. Although, I could not be bothered and put the icing on the still-warm cake and it was totally fine, but general wisdom would suggest that you shouldn’t do this. Either way, mix the icing sugar and a good dash of ground cinnamon with a little of the plum juice – a teaspoon at a time – until it forms something you can drizzle roughly over the cake with a teaspoon. You may get to a point where you’ve been so liberal with the drizzling that you actually have to give up and cover the whole thing, but whatever, it will be fine.
So uh, I guess the plot and subtext of today’s blog post is that I am whiny and inobservant, but if you were observant yourself this would not be a surprise. I still love my job but currently while this particular film festival is on I’m working a zillion hours and so with it goes my ability to articulate myself, like flour slowly disappearing through a sieve. It’s just two and a bit weeks though, and then I’ll be back to my whiny and inobservant self!
Till then, prescribing myself many cups of tea and about 90% of this cake.
title from: this is a Lana Del Rey appreciation blog, apparently, and her song Young and Beautiful from the Great Gatsby soundtrack is typically haunting and exquisite.
Janine and the Mixtape, Hold Me. I’ve talked about this a bunch before but it always gets me.
Sugababes, Freak Like Me. Did you know this is one of the best songs in the world? Especially when it’s very late at night and you’re trying to close the bar at work and feel like you have zero upper body strength all of a sudden.
next time: Probably more cinnamon, to be honest, I can’t get enough.