Polish plum cake

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My hubby came home today with a bag full of plums and got me wondering how I could use all of them without getting into the marmalade making business. My hubby is the fruits buyer in the family and I am lucky to have him taking care of this important task. Funnily we’ve divided subconsciously our roles as far as food shopping is concerned.  I am in charge of the meat, cheese and veggies shelves while he constantly eyes the fruits 🙂

I had some plums for breakfast but it became clear fairly quickly that I had to crank up my oven and bake. Normally I’d go for the upside-down cake but I didn’t feel like it. My quick online research led me to a simple yet mega yummy recipe presented by food writer Ren Behan. She is of Polish decent and shared this family recipe, passed down from mother to daughter.

Let me tell you, this Polish plum cake is a bomb! If you’ve got some Italian prune plums start baking now, you will love its tender texture paired with a right hint of plums’ tartness. Just gorgeous!

Ingredients:

10-12 fresh plums

One cup/200 g granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

220 ml vegetable oil

200 ml plain yoghurt

2 heaped cups of plain flour

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1 package vanilla sugar

1 package baking powder

Powder sugar for dusting (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 190 C. Grease and dust lightly with flour a 30 cm pan. Chop the plums into halves, remove the stones and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture starts to thicken.  Add gradually the oil, vanilla sugar, whisking continually until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add in the lemon zest and yoghurt. Sift the flour and mix with the baking powder. Gently fold the flour into the eggs mixture with a metal spoon until all the flour is fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan and gently press the plums into the top. I sprinkled a little sugar on top of each plum to get them caramelized . Bake for 35-40 or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake, comes out clean. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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I am glad I’ve come across this wonderful family recipe, it will become part of the baking tradition in my family too.

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Marble cake

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This was meant to be a zebra cake but it turned marble cake after I messed up the patterns. Sometimes I am patient and follow the recipe religiously but today being overly excited to bake for my hubby’s birthday I hurried the recipe a bit. But let me assure you the taste was not compromised. On the contrary I ended up with this wonderful marble cake that made my boys happy :-). It turned very moist, and had a splendid vanilla and choco flavour to it without being too sweet.  And added that it looks impressive with its interesting layers, I highly recommend including it in your collection of cake recipes. It surely will turn into a ‘must have’ for your ‘coffee+cake” get together on weekend afternoons. The cake keeps well, mainly due to the oil added so you can enjoy it also the next day.

For a 28 cm baking pan you will need:

4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tea mug sugar
1 tea mug milk
1 tea mug sunflower oil
2 packages vanilla sugar
2 tea mugs+2 tablespoons  flour
1 package baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Grease the pan and line with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180 C. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk and the sunflower oil.  In another bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt. Mix the dry and wet ingredients until incorporated. Measure out just over two mugs of the vanilla batter and place it back in the bowl where you mixed the dry ingredients. Sift the cocoa powder over and whisk until fully incorporated.
To assemble the cake, pour 3 tablespoons of the vanilla batter into the centre of the pan and let it spread on its own. On top of it put 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter. It will push out the other batter and will also spread itself (this is where I was a little impatient to wait and messed the patterns). Keep waiting for the batter to spread slightly before adding the alternate batter!

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Repeat this by alternating spoonfuls of the two batters until all has been used up.

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Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is light gold and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.                                         DSC_6914

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out and remove the parchment paper. Cool it completely on a wire rack before slicing.     DSC_6912

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Sponge cake with strawberries

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It was torturous to wait for this cake to set! See these gravity defying strawberries :-)? They were delicious! This is a very light and tender cake perfect for this time of the year, fruity and not too sweet. Its spongy base topped with pudding and whipped cream goes so well with the grainy yet smooth taste of the strawberries. Are you drooling yet ;-)! Get yourself some strawberries and bake this cake, you will love it!

Ingredients:

Sponge base

6 eggs at room temperature

150 g granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

160 g white flour plus 3 tablespoons of corn starch

Cream

1 packet of instant strawberries-flavoured pudding

1 tablespoon of sugar

400 ml of milk

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2 packets of whipping cream powder (Šlag)+ 2 water cups of cold milk

Preheat oven to 180 C. Beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed for about 5 to 10 minutes or until thick, fluffy and light coloured.

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Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Whisk together the flour, salt and corn starch in another bowl. Sift them three times, this is done to provide more airiness to the cake batter. Sift a little of the flour over the eggs mixture and very gently fold through with a rubber spatula. Mix with a few strokes, do not over-mix otherwise the fluffiness of the eggs will be gone. Add the remaining flour in two-three additions, sifting it the same way and folding in. Pour into a buttered and covered with parchment paper 26 cm springform pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until springy to the touch.

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Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then release the ring of the pan, remove the parchment paper and invert the cake onto a wire rack.

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Let the cake cool completely. To prepare the cream whisk the strawberries pudding with a little milk to avoid any lumps. Add the sugar and remaining milk, cook until it becomes thick. When ready add 2 tablespoons of butter.To assemble place the cooled cake base on the bottom of the springform pan. Halve the strawberries and fit them, snugly, on top of the cake with the cut sides facing the outside edge of the pan. Pour the strawberries pudding on top and chill for at least 4-5 hours but preferably overnight.

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After 4 hours I released the sides of the springform pan and returned the cake in the fridge. Before serving the next day I whipped the two packs of whipping cream powder with the milk and piped the cake.

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