Saturday, 28 January 2012

Plum Honey Cakes


It's the end of a long, tough week. I'm tired... to the bone. I have panda eyes leftover from last night's crying. No conversation. That's what I needed. So I put on The Royal Ballet's version of The Nutcracker and let the music and dance wash over me like a balm. I was somewhat soothed but it didn't quite take all the hurt away. Sleep came slowly but surely punctuated only by a cup of hot, strong coffee this morning and then it was back to bed.

I am feeling better now. Not all healed, but just better. Perhaps because I made these. I ate two straight out of the oven and another two as an after dinner sweet with tea. I suppose my baking is like calm in the eye of the storm and the baked goods are a cushion against the trying times. Whatever it is I'm glad it's back to stay.   

That's enough dwelling. It's time to talk of these cakes. A few weeks and some plums ago I went looking for a plum cake recipe... and promptly got myself into trouble with many references to Christmas Cake (having begun its debut to the world as Plum Cake). It wasn't what I was looking for, so I kept searching. The epiphany came when I searched for a Nigel Slater plum cake recipe and found that someone had made some Honey and Cinnamon Plum Cakes from one of his cookbooks.

I promptly fell in love with how the cupcake cases and the colour of the plums were so matchy-matchy. Made me want to eat them straightaway. I read the entire blog post until I reached the comments and read 'The consistency is more of a pudding than a cake."

Oh oh... I didn't want a pudding thing. I wanted a cake thing. So here's what I did.

I halved the recipe and meddled with it by using the usual creaming method, removing the golden syrup entirely for a stronger honey flavour and changed the spice mix to suit myself. It went into little cases and into the oven. While baking it made the whole kitchen smell of sweet honey and glorious spices. It came out of the oven, went straight into my mouth and I felt like I had come HOME.

I made these again today. To make myself feel better. I've four sitting in my stomach right now, making me feel warm and cozy inside. Tonight I feel like conversation and entertainment, so I'm off to Edmund's.


PLUM HONEY CAKES

250g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Scant 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
130g Butter, softened
130g Soft Brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
6 tablespoons dark, clear Honey
4 tablespoons Full Cream Milk
3 medium-sized Plums, cleaned and quartered

Measure the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Spices. Sieve twice onto a clean newspaper, sprinkle Salt and set aside.

In a bowl, cream the Butter and Sugar with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add in the Eggs one by one beating well after each addition. Beat in the Honey. Fold in the Flour mixture gently by hand until just absorbed in. Fold in the Milk by hand until it is fully incorporated into the batter.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter into cupcake cases. Press two pieces of the quartered Plums into each cupcake. (I got 12 cupcakes out of the recipe above) Bake at 150 Celsius until a skewer poked through the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Notes

  • I do not preheat the oven anymore. I find that my cakes bake more evenly without the preheating. It could be because the oven is a 'hot' one and it heats too quickly, which in turn cooks the outside of the cake too quickly than the inside.
  • I like to give cake batters a very quick (5 - 7 seconds) mix with the electric mixer after folding in the flour by hand as I find it helps the flour absorb better.
  • I let these cakes brown on the top a bit as it makes the crust slightly chewy and has fast become my favourite part of the cake.


2 comments:

  1. Wow - they look so much prettier than mine! Thanks for the link. Will check out your blog soon - it looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lisa, thanks for replying. Hahaha... I thought your's looked scrumptious and tried this! I've changed the photos. I took them this morning with a proper camera instead of the iPhone. The colours are better here I think.

    ReplyDelete

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