Monday, January 20, 2014

Spiced Plum and Honey Cakes - Kids in the kitchen

I arrived home a few days ago to my daughter Poppy (10 years old) having made this plum cake. My hubby has been trying to educate our family to work more with seasonal ingredients and it's something the children are taking part in with great enthusiasm. Grandma Kiwicakes plum tree was raided for this cake.

The smell upon entering our home was incredible. Poppy tells me this was the most complicated recipe she's ever tackled. She said nothing was hard, but for her there were a lot of steps.

Poppy decided to make a cinnamon honey whipped cream to go with it. She tells me she "just added cinnamon and honey to whipped cream, until it tasted right". By the time I arrived home the cake had already been sampled, however Poppy had taken photos for me.

The recipe is from my recently purchased book Love, Bake, Nourish by Amber Rose. It's been a great find. Amber Rose offers great tips on the health benefits of many of the ingredients listed. A lot of the recipes exclude sugar and refined flours and there are great gluten free options too.

Recipe reproduced with permission from Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose, with photography by Ali Allen. Published by Kyle Books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, RRP $45.00

Spiced plum & honey cake

This cake works particularly well made with smallish dark red plums that are really sweet. The plum season comes just as the evenings start to get shorter and you can feel a chill in the air. I really enjoy this time of year, when the leaves turn a golden amber and dew-laden spiders’ webs line the woodland pathways. It’s the onset of the season for comfort food and best-loved jumpers.

serves 8–10

180g white spelt flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
130g ground almonds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamon
½ teaspoon ground star anise
5 large free-range eggs, separated
240g unsalted butter, softened
210g honey
400g plums, halved and stoned
Unrefined icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, butter and honey with an electric hand mixer until thick and smooth. Gently fold in the dry ingredients.

In a separate, very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them, a third at a time, into the cake mix, ensuring that they are thoroughly incorporated.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon or a palette knife. Place the plums cut-side down on top of the cake mix. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with icing sugar, if you like.

As a tea cake this doesn’t seem to need anything else, but if you are eating it as a pudding, it’s very good with a little cream or Greek yogurt sweetened with honey.

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