I make this cake every summer, at least once. The last time I made it I took it round for dessert at a friends’ place. After finishing his (let’s be clear, generous) first slice of cake, one friend announced he was going to quickly have another before his stomach told him that he was too full and that it was a bad idea. The following morning another friend from dinner messaged to say that she was eating the leftover cake for breakfast. My friends are clearly like-minded humans.
River Cafe’s original version of this cake was made with oranges rather than tangelos; tangelos make the cake more tart, which I enjoy, but use whatever you fancy.
Plum, tangelo & almond cake
From River Café Cook Book Easy, 2003.
For the plums:
500 g ripe plums (Omega are my favourite to use for this)
zest and juice of a tangelo (or orange)
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Halve and stone the plums and put in an ovenproof dish with the sugar, zest & juice, and vanilla paste. Bake for 20 minutes and leave to cool.
For the cake:
150g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
80g gluten-free or regular flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
100g ground almonds
Grease and line a 25cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (the longer you do this, the better). Add the eggs one at a time, and then fold in the flour and almonds. Pour batter into the tin and push the plums and their juices into the cake. Bake the cake for half an hour, pour over the topping (see recipe below) and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
For the topping:
zest of a tangelo (or orange)
25g muscovado sugar or raw sugar
50g almonds, chopped
Melt the butter and add the zest, sugar, and almonds.