I recently found myself with way too many plums in my kitchen. This happens a lot, because while I want to love fruit, I just don’t. I buy it hoping that I’ll actually eat it for breakfast but knowing that I’ll most likely choose toast with salted butter and speculoos spread any day of the week. I’d already used some plums the week before to make a delicious chutney and was craving something sweeter. I scanned my evernote and found the perfect recipe immediately. Brown sugar. Hazelnuts. Plums!
The recipe I used yielded very little batter so I had to double it so I’d have enough for my large, French pan. It was no big deal, because the recipe is very simple (at least now that I have my Kitchenaid!). I’ve adapted it slightly to take into account the doubling and adjusted the steps. I ended up with a thin and crispy-edged cake that had a muffin-like texture and reminded me so much of the caramel muffins that my Mom used to make out of a box when I was a kid. The plums on top weren’t very ripe when I made the cake but baked up perfectly, making for a sweet and melt-in-your-mouth topping. Dusting the cake with two kinds of sugar before baking ensures that they’ll also be ever-so-slightly caramelized. Dust with a little powdered sugar before serving, and you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
Plum and hazelnut cake
Very slightly adapted from Gourmet
1 C ground hazelnuts
1 C brown sugar
2/3 C flour
6 T butter
1 t vanilla extract
6 egg whites
Pinch of salt
4-5 small plums
1 T cane sugar
1 T granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 425°. Begin by melting the butter. Let it cool and then stir in vanilla. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk or blend the flour, brown sugar and hazelnuts until no more lumps remain. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until stiff.
Begin by folding about 1/2 of the egg whites into the dry flour mixture. Next add the melted butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir. The batter will deflate slightly. Next, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, a little bit at a time, until you see no more white.
Butter and flour a round baking dish and pour the batter in. Smooth until level. Cut the plums into thin slices and arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the sugars and bake for 20-25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.