Sunday, August 19, 2007

plum and pistachio cake

I have a good friend, with whom I worked in the past, who is again working with me. It is truly great. She is just a really nice girl and we do get on. Not that we always agree about everything, but we respect each other’s opinion. She also loves her food and we get to talk about food as well, and we share grocery shopping. Those things that you buy to keep in the office in case you have hunger pangs, cravings.We both care about food and the quality of what we buy.

The other week I really wanted to to bake her a cake. Loads of recipes came to mind. In the end I chose a recipe of plums, so abundant at this time of the year, and pistachio nuts. If anything the beautiful colours of green and red that the main ingredients bring to mind made my mind for me.

Cakes do not necessarily have to be covered in amazing decoration. They have to be made with lovely and fresh ingredients, and taste honest. Plums are such great fruit, and go really well in cakes. I already have a recipe that is a terrible success, simple, terribly honest.This one has the extra nutty element to it.

After being initally smitten by the ingredients I went to read the recipe and then fell even more in love with this simple cake when I learnt that there would be two layers of plums. Can you imagine how moist this cake will turn out – there is also added nuts to increase the moisture.

It tasted as lovely and moist as I suspected it would. Plus it had an added zest. It tasted even nicer the day after it was baked and it kept really well for about 4 days.

The preparation was dead simple which is another plus. And I share it here:

500g plums

50g shelled pistachios

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

3 eggs

175g self raising flour ( or normal flour plus ¾ teaspoon baking powder)

zest and juice of 1 lemon

icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/ 160oC fan assisted.

Butter and line the base of a 20-22cm cake tin with baking parchment. Halve and stone the plums, and then cut them in quarters.

Tip the pistachios into a food processor and finely grind. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, lemon zest and juice. Process for 1-2 mins until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Spoon half the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth it over. Scatter half the plums evenly over the cake mix, then spoon the remaining cake mix on top. Smooth over and scatter with the remaining fruit.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is firm and golden brown. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out and cool completely. Dust the top lightly with icing sugar for serving.

Recipe from Good Food Magazine, September 2007.


Nora B. said...

Valentina, this cake sounds and looks delicious and moist. Unfortunately, we are not in plum season yet (I do LOVE plums!). I will have to wait a few months to try this cake. Thanks for sharing. I hope your friend enjoyed the cake.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Simple, honest cake-there is beauty in that. This looks so good Valentina and it must be moist with all those plums. Certainly a plus to have friends like this one.

Meeta said...

Valentina, what a perfect combination! Plums and pistachios in a cake - you rock!

Pille said...

I'm a big fan of delicious cakes that are dead simple to make!!!

Paz said...

Lucky friend to have a cake baked for her. I love the combination of the plum and pistachios. Yum! I also love the simplicity of the cake.


Cynthia said...

I agree with you Valentina, a cake does not have to dressed up to be enjoyed, shared or even to be called cake!

I love your combo.

Deborah said...

I just bought a bunch of plums, and now I want to turn them into this beautiful cake!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love the ingredients you've put together here, Tina - the cake looks so delicious!

Holler said...

The plums are on special offer here, so that is perfect!
I also love Good Food Magazine, i have it on subscription!

Lis said...

Aww that's so nice you have such a good friend to work with =)

Your cake looks and sounds simply delicious, Valentina! Plums are going to be plentiful here very soon - I will try this cake!


Anita said...

Yes! I am so dying to bake something with plums! Yours looks wonderful!

valentina said...

Girls, thank you for all your comments. sorry for the delay in replying.

Anonymous said...

I have baked this cake and it is indeed delicious. A tip- I didn't have and pistachios so used chopped nuts ground up in the food processor.

Anonymous said...

When the plum season ended I have used pears- equally delicious

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