“What could be more comforting than crimson plums. Crumbles, cobblers, jams, jellies, the possibilities are endless. This was a recipe I devised for my housemate whose roots lie in South India – the aromatic cardamom really comes through and this sits on the boundary between cake and pudding. The cake on its own is a real treat and takes flavourings very well – let your creativity run wild…”
A little butter, for greasing
1 ½ tbsp demerera sugar
135g unsalted butter
135g dark muscovado sugar
110g golden syrup
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
150ml semi-skimmed milk
230g self-raising flour
⅜ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cardamom (around 15-20 crushed pods)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 orange (optional)
300ml whipping cream (optional)
Any special equipment?
20x20cm loose-bottomed square tin
To prepare the tin
Preheat the oven to fan 160 C
1. Lightly grease the inside of the tin and line with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper too.
2. Sprinkle the demerera around the inside of the tin. Halve and de-stone the plums and place them cut side down into the tin, evenly spread out.
Making the cake
3. Over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup. Stir until smooth then allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the beaten egg and milk and stir until uniform in colour.
4. Sift in the flour, bicarb and spices and mix until well combined. Pour over the plum base and bake for 40-50 minutes until springy and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then tip out onto a cooling rack.
5. Place the cake back in the tin the opposite way round (plum side up) and return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until the bits in between the plums are cooked.
6. I like to serve this sliced into large squares whilst still slightly warm with a dollop of whipped cream and grated orange zest to finish.
Written by Andrew Smyth; follow Andrew on Twitter (@cakesmyth) for more delicious recipes!