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:
50g shelled pistachios
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
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.