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 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 :)