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.
135 gms regular sugar
5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 large plums cut into thick slices
150 ml plum liqueur
2-3 tbsp dark brown sugar
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.
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/
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
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)
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