baking/ gluten free/ morning tea + afternoon tea

Plum Amour – a Cake for a Fete

Plum Amour Persian Love Cake - gluten freeIt’s fete baking time at our house and we are baking up a storm to supply our lovely little primary school with goodies. The kids have been helping out and after visiting the local continental greengrocer, we are baking ‘a la mode’.

I really like doing the grocery shopping with little kids; sure, you might not always get the things that are on your list but kids have really good eyes for spotting the interesting stuff.

I like to treat the things we pick up in this way like a personal invention challenge. So using today’s bounty and inspired by the start of autumn, an abundance of ripe plums and a morning trip to our local french cafe here is a recipe for a cake that will be a best seller at your next school fete.

Plum amour french tart persian love cake - gluten freePlum Amour, a cake for a fete

I love France and all things French. I think what really appeals is the sense of living well, and enjoying the simple pleasures that life can bring, that the French seem to excel in. I love French films, their sense of style, of course their pastries (although I try not to love them too much, if you know what I mean) and listening to French radio. To me it makes everything seem c’est bon.

One of the things I love most about travelling is pretending, just a little bit, that I really come from wherever we are visiting. I am still me of course, but I love just feeling a little bit different. While we were in France last year, I really loved soaking up everything French. I loved their parks with giant fruit trees, their celebration of all things artisan and their appreciation for things made with passion. I just loved to wander the streets imagining myself as a local and loved finding the shops the locals visited. These tiny places always had the best baguettes, or croissants or falafels. You know there is no point wasting your time with an inferior falafel.

I love to dream and make up little stories and if I were to imagine the life of this cake I would imagine that she was an exotic yet impressionable young girl, arriving for the first time in Paris. As she wanders through the narrow streets, and gazes into the patisserie windows, without thinking or even noticing, she starts to adopt little mannerisms from culture around her. She finds herself saying ‘merci’ without thinking, and discovers the crunchiest baguette to nibble at on the way home. Breakfast is a croissant traditionelle and a strong black coffee, eaten at a cafe by the square. She has started tying her scarf in a different way and pondering the beauty of life. Absorbing from what surrounds her, she is still beautifully herself, but she also starts to be just a little bit french.

If a persian love cake and a frangipane tart were to fall in love, this would be their beautiful offspring. A jammy union of sweet spices and plummy abundance, it is a celebration and a great way to feed a crowd. Unfortunately it is quite full of sugar, but it is gluten free, so use it for a party or to make a day feel festive, and really, really enjoy it.

Because this cake is baked long and slow, the plums turn almost to jam and the smell that fills the kitchen is divine. There is some total cake therapy in this cake. The plums become bruléed, and the dark little edges enhance their flavour and add to the sticky chewiness of the crust. If you would prefer to not take the plums as dark, cover the top of the cake with some foil about an hour in.

Plum Persian Love CakePlum Amour : Persian Love Cake

Makes 12 generous squares

520g almond meal
330g raw sugar
330g brown sugar
180g unsalted butter, softened
a pinch of salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
375g natural yoghurt or sour cream
12 plums halved and pits removed

Preheat your oven to 160° C and grease and line a brownie tin.

In a food processor, blitz together the almond meal, both sugars and butter until the mixture is uniform and sandy. Tip half of this mixture into the greased and lined brownie sheet tin and press it down with your finger tips to form a crust. Leave the other half of the mixture in the food processor.

To the other half of the mixture add the eggs, spices and yoghurt, and blitz again until a uniform batter forms.

Pour the batter over the crust, then top with the halved plums, cut side up.

Bake in the oven for around 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then serve at room temperature.

Plum Amour : Persian Love Cake

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: 1 3/4 hours

Ingredients

  • 520g almond meal
  • 330g raw sugar
  • 330g brown sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter, softened
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 375g natural yoghurt or sour cream
  • 12 plums halved and pits removed

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 160° C and grease and line a brownie tin.

2

In a food processor, blitz together the almond meal, both sugars and butter until the mixture is uniform and sandy. Tip half of this mixture into the greased and lined brownie sheet tin and press it down with your finger tips to form a crust. Leave the other half of the mixture in the food processor.

3

To the other half of the mixture add the eggs, spices and yoghurt, and blitz again until a uniform batter forms.

4

Pour the batter over the crust, then top with the halved plums, cut side up.

5

Bake in the oven for around 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then serve at room temperature.

Notes

• gluten free • grain free •

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