The “is it really” German Plum Cake?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plums are definitely in season at the moment. If anyone needed proof, they’d just have to look at my overflowing fruit bowl. Baking had to be done before the dreaded hordes of fruit fly sniffed them out.

It didn’t take long to decide on German Plum Cake, but when I started researching recipes, it became a little confusing. Some recipes were for cake style batter, but other recipes used yeast in the batter. Which one is traditional? If you are a plum cake aficionado, please feel free to enlighten me.

Since I make cake quite often, I decided to go with the yeast batter instead. It yielded a delicious fruity brioche-like “cake”. Great chunks of this, lightly warmed, were perfect for breakfast. All the girls gave it the thumbs-up. Mr. Kitchen Hand however, rolled his eyes and declared he wasn’t having “cake” for breakfast. His loss.

My “did I bake it right?” German Plum & Nectarine Cake
(adapted heavily from this recipe)

450g plain flour (edit : plus more for the kneading stage if too sticky)
2 sachets (14g) dry yeast
300ml milk (lukewarm)
60g sugar
60g butter (melted)
2 egg yolks + 1 whole (lightly beaten)

Additional filling (mainly because I had some nectarines to kill)
3 nectarines (about 200g) – I used white nectarines
2 tbsp sugar
ground cinnamon to taste

Topping : 12 plums sliced into sixths plus sugar and ground cinnamon to sprinkle. (I used sugar plums and caster sugar. I think traditionally plums for this cake are halved.)

For the filling, I skinned and pureed the nectarines, then cooked with sugar to thicken a little. Leave to cool.

For the cake, stir yeast into milk then set aside until a “head” forms.

Make a well in the flour, add in the beaten eggs, then the yeast mixture and finally the melted butter. Mix well until smooth then cover and set aside until doubled in bulk (about an hour).

When dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half (if using the nectarine puree), roll one portion out then place in a lightly oiled baking pan (I used a large rectangular slice pan). Make sure the dough fits snugly in all corners, then cover with the nectarine puree. Roll out the other half of the dough then carefully place on top of the puree. The dough is quite stretchy and relatively easy to manouver.

Arrange plum slices prettily on top of the dough, covering entire surface and press down slightly on the plums to embed. Sprinkle sugar and ground cinnamon over the top. (The original recipe calls for dusting the cooked cake with icing sugar and cinnamon, I’m not quite sure why I decided to do it this way, it kind of made sense at the time and didn’t seem to affect the end result too much. But the sugar does brown quickly so you might need to protect with baking paper in the last minutes of baking.)

Let it rise for about 20 minutes or so, then bake in a 180˚C oven until cooked ( it should be springy to touch).

Enjoy with a cuppa :) 


3 hungry tummies said...

When I invite you over for dinner, you can do the baking haha! I love plums, in fact i bought some today :)

mike@scallopsandpancetta said...

Unfortunately, I cannot enlighten you on the originality of the recipe, but I can say it looks great - I'd love a slice with a strong mug of English Breakfast tea... Damn I'm drooling again...

Hungry Dog said...

Oh my. This looks amazing. I want some! Now, what's up with Mr. Kitchen Hand's "no cake for breakfast" business? Set him right, shaz! (on the other hand, more cake for you!)

The Domestic Adventurer said...

I have come across plum cake recipes now and again but always glossed over them. For some reason, recently I've decided that I want to give it a go (perhaps because they keep appearing in these old world, Victorian novels that I've been reading). But I'm holding off til summer - plums aren't in season where I live.

Yours looks divine!

grace said...

whether it's authentic german plum cake or not, it's luscious! and who poo-poos cake for breakfast? silly man. :)

msmeanie said...

That cake looks so delicious, who cares if you baked it right? I will be making this when summer comes and plums are back in season!

The Cooking Photographer said...

I believe in cake for breakfast!!!! I mean really, how much different is it than a doughnut. And this one has fruit in it! I declare this "health cake"



shaz said...

Oh yes please 3HT! I will definitely be up for that :)

Cheers mike, (and my tipple of choice is Irish Breakfast)

Yes Hungry Dog, definitely more cake for us. Mr. Kitchen Hand just doesn't get it despite my best efforts - he eats cereal as dessert!

Hi DOmestic Adevnturer - thanks for adventuring by, lovely pics of the snow on your blog. Can't wait to see what sort of plum cake gets made over at yours when the season arrives.

Very silly indeed Grace, i am so glad I have so many supporters

Thanks msmeanie, and thanks for stopping by.

Laura, I don't think Mr. Kitchen Hand will be buying that "health cake business", but it's certainly worth a try :) Actually, it was very low in sugar but he's just got this thing against sweet bread *sigh*

Pam said...

Wow! This looks soooo delicious! I love plums and would love this with a cuppa right now!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Mmmm.... I'm so there :)
*kisses* HH

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I love plums.....and this cake would be perfect with some custard and creme fraiche for breakfast!!!!! Yum

Julia @Mélanger said...

I have heard of plum cake, but couldn't tell you if it should be with or without yeast. I think either way it sounds delicious. I love plums in baking. I particularly love the sound of a sweet bread like cake bun with plums.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great recipe Shaz and yes very timely for all the plums we currently have in season! :D

Liz said...

Um, I'm sorry, who doesn't want cake for breakfast?! I don't care what it's called, it looks fabulous and that's all the facts I need. :)

Ellie said...

Right or wrong, this cake looks amazing!!

Barbara said...

Oh Shaz, it looks perfect to me! And for breakfast? Absolutely!

Erica said...

That looks so good! I would love a piece now with hot coffee :)

Anh said...

Soo lovely. I have a lot of plums around and will do a sauce making session tomorrow. :)

pierre said...

i love plums you can be so creative with them and your cake looks scrumptious !! cheers from France

shaz said...

Thanks everyone! Sorry for shot comment but bit tired after a big day of parties :)

Trissa said...

Lovely plum cake! I've been seeing a lot in the grocery lately - my favourite so far has been the little sugar plums - have you tried them?

Sherry G said...

Is it bad that I've never eaten a plum? He he maybe if I made this cake I would see what I'm missing out on! Thanks for sharing=)

Megan @ FeastingonArt said...

This looks like the best cake to have with afternoon tea! I have had some beautiful plums lately, this is such a good recipe idea!

shaz said...

Yes Trissa, I love sugar plums

Oh do try them Sherry, I think they're worth it.

Thanks Megan :)