Stone fruit is in season in late summer here in Sydney. I love cooking with plums, particularly blood plums with their wonderful ruby red colour.
This cake is made in the form of a traybake, great for serving a crowd of people. It’s not too difficult, the only tricky part is roasting the almonds in the oven.
You could serve it on its own, or with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar, or make a simple lemon drizzle icing and haphazardly dress the cake!
100g blanched almonds
50g whole almonds, skin on
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond essence
3 free-range eggs
75g plain flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 plums, cut into quarters or eighths
2 teaspoons Demerara sugar + extra for sprinkling
Lemon drizzle icing
150g icing sugar
Enough lemon juice to drizzle over the cake
Preheat the oven 150 degrees C, 130 degrees C fan. When the oven reaches temperature, put all the almonds on a baking tray and cook until just brown, about 20 minutes.
Turn the oven up to 180 degrees C, 160 degrees C fan. Grease a 9”x 13” rectangular cake pan.
Blitz half of the almonds in a food processor until fine crumbs. Remove, and blitz the other half so that they are still quite chunky. Remove from the food processor. There’s no need to wash it – just use again for the cake batter.
Beat butter and sugar in the food processor until pale and well creamed. Add vanilla extract and almond essence.
Add the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour at the same time with each egg. Adding a little flour now helps stop the batter from curdling. Mix in the food processor until each egg is incorporated. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients including nuts by pulsing carefully. Some of the nuts will still be quite chunky which will give texture to your cake.
Spread the cake batter in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Arrange the plum pieces on top of the batter. Some pieces of fruit will stay on top of the batter, some will sink – it doesn’t really matter!
Sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the plum pieces on top of the batter.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent burning. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
When the cake has cooled slightly, carefully remove from the cake pan onto to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can serve as is, or with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar, or with a lemon drizzle icing.
Make the lemon drizzle icing by combining the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and drizzle over the cake with a fork.