Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dorie's Dimply Plum Cake

Dorie's Dimply Plum Cake
Cardamom* should be renamed cardayum. Sadly, I won't get my way. Not officially at least. But in my world, it's cardayum. Of course, that's much too dorky of a name for such an intensely exotic spice. Like cinnamon, it is at once warm, sweet, sharp, and heady. But that's where the similarity ends. Invigorating, but in a drowsy, laid-back sort of way. Kind of like the last few weeks of summer. Maybe that's why I put kd lang's Invincible Summer on the stereo while I made this cake. It has the same feel. Late August. Still summer but almost autumn; days are still hot, but now, mornings are getting chilly. Feeling less like iced coffee and more like hot tea. This plum cake would go with either really, but I think it's leaning more toward the pot of tea. Lately, so am I.
Notes: The recipe called for the zest of one orange but I didn't have any oranges so I zested a lemon instead. Orange just sounds so right, but lemon and cardamom should go together just swell. The plums I thought were large must in actuality be XL or even XXL. Pretty and plump? They are downright beautiful. I was able (just) to fit three rows of three across in my 8 x 8" pan; as opposed to the recipe which had four rows of four. The diminutive pits came out so easily I wanted to cry thinking about the 4 lbs. of prune plums I had to pit the other day. I, not so fondly, refer to them now as "Star Trek plums" (Klingons, you know?). But I digress.

After 40 minutes (rotated at 20 min.), the cake looks great. The tester didn't come out clean though, so I put another 5 min. on the clock. It smells so good! Five more minutes did it. Clean as a whistle, and golden brown. The unmolding went fine too, though it wanted to come apart a little on the top. Pushed it back into place and let it finish cooling.

I hadn't even had my first bite and Hubs was muttering: "OMG... OMG...". The plums definitely added a lot of moisture to the cake (a little too much in the very middle), and it kind of fell apart while eating it. That being said however, the brown sugar and cardamom, lemon zest and plum...yum.

I really loved the way this recipe was written. I've seen Dorie's name all over the blogs, but never actually made one of her recipes until now. She had me hooked right away with the "Getting Ready" paragraph. Read more about her on her website/blog. She's amazing. And yeah, I know... trust me, this isn't the first time I've been late to a party.

Notes (8/26/09): The first cake was really tasty but way too soft in the very middle. No doubt, due to all the juices released by the XXL plums. Since I still had more of the big plums to use up, why not try the same recipe but leave out the center plum? I made this second one the same as the first in every way (even the same amount of cook time), just without the middle plum. It worked out a bit better, but by today those plums were really ripe and even juicier. The cake is totally worth making; it's so simple and gorgeous. For best results though, use smaller, firmer plums.

*Cardamom: a spice native to India (of course), where it grows wild in the mountainous southern forests. Often referred to as the "Queen of spices". Expensive, exotic, ancient, aromatic. Read a great description of cardamom and it's history here. You'll want to sleep on a pillow filled with it.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Post a Comment

Take a moment to say "Howdy!"... I'd love to hear from you!