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Spiced Plum & Hazelnut Upside-down Cake


This recipe was adopted from the CSR Sticky Date Pudding cake and the Australian Women's Weekly Upside-down Plum Cake and thus do not claim it as my own.  It is not often that I experiment with other well established recipes, but felt the need to add a bit of spice to this one.  To me autumn is about stewed plums and spices combined in a warm cake with maybe a spoonful of marscapone cheese on the side.

The black plums that are now in season are a little deceiving and although quite black in appearance, their flesh is this beautiful amber colour.  They change hue when cooked, with the pink tinge of the skin seeping through the flesh.  They bake really well and ooze their jam like flesh through to the bottom (which then becomes the top) of the cake.  The plum tartness cuts through the sweetness of the caramel texture of the cake...have I tempted you yet?!

The spices I added to the cake mix are nutmeg and cinnamon - two that compliment the plum and hazelnut really well.  You can leave the spices out, but I think they add another dimension to the cake.

Spiced Plum & Hazelnut Upside-down Cake


Ingredients:

Caramel sauce & plum base:

50g chopped butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 plums halved and stone removed(any in season)

Cake:

185g softened butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup (50g) hazelnut meal
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour


1. Preheat oven to moderate and grease a deep 22cm round cake pan.  Line the base with baking paper and grease the sides.

2. For the caramel sauce, combine the butter and sugar in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until combined and smooth.  Pour into cake pan base and place plums - cut side down into pan base.

3. For the cake mixture, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time beating in between until well combined.

4. Stir in hazelnut meal, sifted flours, spices, and spread mixture in pan over the plums.

5. Bake cake in moderate oven for 1 hr.  Stand cake in pan for a few minutes before turning onto a serving plate.

The cake will self sauce and ooze over the sides.  The plums will be very fragile and may collapse, but that is the beauty of an upside-down cake.

Enjoy!



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