In my new Paws and Claws Mysteries, Liesel Miller owns the Sugar Maple Inn. Born in Germany, she immigrated to America long ago. The inn reflects her European roots in everything from the food to the decor. She's fond of French country fabrics, German tortes, wrought iron railings, and a certain Austrian chef at The Blue Boar Restaurant next door. This is just the kind of cake she likes to serve at afternoon tea in the inn.
I have to confess that as I typed this, an email came through on my computer raving about Victoria Abbott's (Mary Jane Maffini's) plum cake. After banging my head against my desk for a few minutes for having forgotten that she recently posted a plum cake recipe, I rushed over to look at the recipe. It's very much like the one I just baked, except easier, with less fat and calories!
Oh well, now you have a choice. Frankly, I like the idea of the Mary Jane's eight minute cake with almost no butter. Mine has more fruit, and it does take a while to pit it. Except for that, maybe it could be an eight minute cake. One day, we'll have to do a blind tasting! So here's my version, which -- should it not contain enough fat with all the butter -- is served with sweetened whipped cream.
1 1/2 pounds fresh Damson plums (approximately 27-30 plums)
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (8 tablespoons)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Pit the plums, cutting them into halves lengthwise and set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the milk and beat. Pour the batter into the pan. Arrange the plum halves in circles.
Bake one hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. It should be golden brown.
Cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and release. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.