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.
- 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
- 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.