Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 2: Dimply Plum Cake

Plums are at their peak season now in Israel, lovely and purple, round and full with juice. That made using them for my second Shabbat dessert a natural decision. When baked, the heat softens them, caramelizes their sugars, thus heightening their sweetness. Yum! It seems that this cake has made its way around the blogosphere a couple of years ago- I seriously am always the last to know EVERYTHING! I suppose though that it's better late than never. This recipe comes from Dorie's Baking book- the widely adored book that I own but dont seem to use enough. This is my humble attempt to correct that. I made only a couple of minor changes. Firstly, I didn't need all of the plums called for, I guess mine were a bit large. That was no matter- I happily munched on the remaining ones. Also, I replaced the cardamom with cinnamon- cinnamon being my best friend, cardamom... not so much. I also went with fresh lemon zest instead of the orange that Dorie calls for. Overall, this cake was a hit. Light and fresh and summery.... my hostess loved it. Two for two. Score!

Dimply Plum Cake
slightly adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
grated zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
8 plums, halved and pitted

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an eight inch baking pan. Set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Place the butter or margarine in the bowl of the mixer. Beat at medium speed for three minutes or until creamy.
Add the brown sugar,
and beat an additional three minutes or until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time,
beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla, oil and lemon zest,
and beat to blend.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until a smooth batter is formed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it.
Place the fruit cut side up in the pan, slightly pushing down on them plum halves. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The cake should be browned and a toothpick inserted into the cake parts should come out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for fifteen minutes. Depan the cake onto another rack. Invert and cool right side up. Ice cream would make a nice accompaniment especially in the hot summer months.

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