Dunked Plums with Rosemary

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Every summer we have a family ritual, one to go to the hills and two to stay at an orchard. The Himalayan foothills are resplendent with stone fruit at this time of the year, mostly July to August. Great yellow peaches, brilliant nectarines, wild plums, golden yellow apricots and lovely berries, wild golden raspberries included.

This recipe is a tribute to the plums. The colour, flavour and aroma are all celebrated in this cake, dotted with little moorish, squishy, jammy pools of plum, on a bed of crumbly butter cake.

This is a season repeat for me, time after time and is a no fail recipe. It marries plums with rosemary which is an excellent herb for desserts as well. This makes for a great tea cake and a tray cake. What I mean is that I have used a 10 inch cake tin for this cake and its best to use bigger cake tins/trays to ensure that there is just the right amount of cake and plum.
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Ingredients:
Rosemary Sugar
135 gms regular sugar
5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Dunked Plums
4 large plums cut into thick slices
150 ml plum liqueur
2-3 tbsp dark brown sugar

Cake
125 gms salted butter
2 large eggs
180 gms flour
2 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Blitz together the sugar and fresh dry rosemary leaves. Ensure that the rosemary is fresh, green and absolutely dry. You can make more of this sugar and use it for lemonades. It gives a definite zing to them
2. Stone and slice the plums. Add sugar and the liqueur and toss them together. Let this sit for atlas 1 hour.
3. Use 125 gas of the rosemary sugar (save the rest for dusting) the butter and cream it with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Then add one egg at a time and whisk again. Now add the water and whisk. Do not whisk too much as it might result in a flat cake. Fold the sifted flour and baking powder and pour the mixture in a ten inch circular cake tin. (I used a teflon coated non stick cake tin and covered its bottom with baking paper)
4. Flatten and even out the cake batter with a spatula. Now the the plum chunks and arrange them on the batter, however tidily you can. Try not to eat any o =f the succulent, fragrant slippery pieces of plum while you are at it.
Place the cake in a 190 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes or thill the to is golden.
5. Take you time to cool the cake and a warm one while very aromatic, is quite delicate for slicing.
6. Enjoy with a cup of Darjeeling’s finest.
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P.S.
Watch
Netflix – I am looking for recommendations. I have spent this week watching trailers of some of the new stuff on Netflix, Bloodline, Ozark, 13 reasons why, etc.
Movie – Dunkirk Catch it while it is still in the cinemas. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5013056/

Listen
Ben Lee – Gamble everything for love – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reIDepQzVJY
Don Browningg – How are you supposed to know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmV40wxr8gY
Pearl Jam – Just Breathe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5bAawsa7_s

Read
Blog – AM taking you away from food this time to promote pointless, yet strangely cool, time-killing things on the internet. boingboing.net

Book – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52036.Siddhartha

Poem – [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

– E. E. Cummings

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Melons and Honey

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Super stoked to receive a bag of goodies from Societé Naturelle. Big shout out to Preet Singh. Totally loved the raw honey and bee pollen and immediately put it to use.

With summers at its peak, melons are at their best right now. They are a great snack and are very good for keep you well hydrated.

I love a bowl of cantaloupe or honey dew or musk melon or watermelon with a drizzle of good honey. It tends to bring out the flavours of the melons. This here is a great snack and requires just about no effort to assemble. Served cold it is a great refreshing snack.

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Ingredients: (Makes 2-3 Jars)
1 cup musk melon
1 cup water melon
1 cup cantaloupe
1 cup chilled whipped yogurt
1 cup bran flakes
2 tbsp sunflower seeds/ flaked almonds
2 tbsp bee pollen from Societé Naturelle
2 tbsp honey from Societé Naturelle for garnish. (Extra for sweetening the yogurt if you like)

1. Skin, deseed and cut the melons in cubes. It is best to work with cold melons.
2. Take a tall wide jar, I have used one that is 6 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall (approx)
3. Whip the cold yogurt. You can sweeten it with 2 tbsp. Honey.
4. Assemble. Simply spoon the melons in the serving bowl/ jar. Add the whipped yogurt on top. Sprinkle the top with bran flakes and seeds/nuts of your choice. Drizzle over delicious ‘Raw Honey’ from Societé Naturelle. Thats it. Dig in.

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P.S.
Watch
Netflix – Are you watching Blacklist. Because Raymond Reddington has me hooked. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2741602/
Movie – The Hours. A Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore starrer movie on how Mrs. Dalloway affects three generations of women.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274558/

Listen
Ásgeir – In The Silence – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWCUdy2Af58
Agnes Obel – Riverside (Official) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjncyiuwwXQ
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call (1997) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcKYaf0LW2g
Goldmund: Threnody – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdEuCRiW2l0&list=PL6EC19B29711523B4&index=5

Read
Blog – Road tripping in america. This is a great guide to the eating your way through it. https://roadfood.com

Book – The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16158542-the-boys-in-the-boat

Poem – Childhood nostalgia, this poem
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth