I initially made this cake for the madre to take to a luncheon at her tennis club as there was a charity event going on and she’d agreed to take a pudding (and I obvs jumped at the chance to bake something quelle surprise). But we both ended up loving it so much that we kept rather a lot for ourselves. Whoops! Needless to say I’ll be making it again. There’s something about a cake that’s both fruity and nutty that my fellow cake connoisseur mother and I adore. Deliciously moist dessert, this baby makes for a scrumptious afternoon tea treat, but would also be divine warmed up with a hefty scoop of ice cream for a dinner party (or anyday) pudding. Don’t forget to take your butter and eggs out of the fridge well in advance, and as ever, let me know how you get on.

Ingredients 

  • 200g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 
  • 200g golden caster sugar 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 100g plain flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 130g ground almonds 
  • 50g roasted hazelnuts, chopped 
  • 120g golden marzipan, chopped 
  • 500g (about 7) ripe plums, stoned and cut into quarters 
  • 20g flaked almonds 
  • 60g icing sugar 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Lightly grease a 23cm square tin that’s 5cm deep and line the base with baking paper. 
  • In a big bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand-held electric whisk until pale, light and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs, whisking between each addition (add a little flour if the mix starts to curdle). Sift over the flour and baking powder, add the ground almonds and fold in gently with a big spoon. 
  • Fold in the hazelnuts and marzipan. What size pieces you chop the marzipan and hazelnuts is up to you… I kept them relatively big as I adore marzipan (naturally I ate a fair amount while baking) and the crunch of the hazelnuts makes a really nice contrast with the squishy plums and moist cake texture. Here’s mine
  • Pour the mix into the tin and scatter the plum quarters over, pushing them down a little into the mixture. Scatter with the flaked almonds. Bake for about 50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool a little in the tin for about 15 minutes or so (I recommend going round the sides of the cake with a spatula to make it easier to remove from the tin) and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely, having taken off the greaseproof paper. 
  • For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add about a tablespoon of water and stir to a single-cream consistency. You might need to add a bit more so that it’s runny enough to drizzle (and if you add too much water just add a bit more icing sugar… although if you keep doing this you’ll just have LOADS of icing, but as far as I’m concerned that’s no bad thing!) Use a teaspoon or piping bag to drizzle the icing over the cake, and wait for it to set for a few hours, then cut into squares and you’re good to go.