Saturday, 14 August 2010

Plum and Granola Crumble Layer Cake

My mother visited this week, to collect the maple biscuits and sweets which were her present from Canada, a small reward for harvesting our vegetables for us while we were away. She brought with her a bag of small ripe green plums from her tree, which had been hastily picked to prevent the wasps infesting them all.

I could have made a fruit crumble - indeed, I was very tempted to do so, as it's our favourite quick dessert, but with the blackberry season coming into full swing, there will be plenty of crumbles in the weeks to come!

After searching online for plum cake recipes, I decided to adapt my favourite fresh fruit cake recipe, mainly because it's so quick and easy to make - no waiting for butter to soften, long beating or slow rubbing in. The base cake dough gives a result which is quite dense and on the dry side - more like a shortbread/scone  texture - but when teamed with some moist ripe fruit it works really well. As I've done here, the dough can be made with a proportion of ground almonds, or just with all flour. Usually the top layer is the same as the base, but I decided to work in some granola to give the topping a more crumbly and chewy texture. Using chocolate granola added an extra dimension to the flavour and also gave the finished cake a distinct layered look. All in all this turned out to be a delicious dessert cake; if there were any criticisms at all, I would say that using a little more fruit would have been an improvement, and red plums would probably look better.

Almost any fruit can be used, but the recipe works best with fruit which doesn't produce too much juice when cooked - stone fruit (peaches, apricots, plums etc), apples and pears work better than rhubarb and gooseberries.

150g slightly salted butter
150g caster sugar
1 large egg
250g SR flour
50g ground almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g granola (I used chocolate granola with added coconut)
roughly 350g plums, de-stoned and cut in half
a little icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease and base-line a 20cm(8") round springform tin.
Melt the butter in a medium sized bowl in the microwave (or in a pan on the hob). Use minimum heat/time to just melt the butter. If it becomes too hot allow it to cool a bit.
Mix in the caster sugar, then the egg and beat until smooth. Then mix in the flour, ground almonds and cinnamon to give a soft sticky dough.
Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the cake tin and spread out into an even layer - use the back of a spoon or wet fingers.
Arrange the fruit in a single layer on top of the dough.
Stir the granola into the remaining dough - it should become drier and crumbly. Using fingers, crumble the dough over the fruit in an even layer.
Bake for 1 hour, covering if necessary to prevent over browning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before taking off side of tin.
If liked, dust with icing sugar before serving. Serve with yogurt, cream or creme fraiche.

1 comment:

Lucie said...

Love the look of this cake Suelle. Hope you had fun with your Mum.