Late Summer Plum Cake


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My family love stone fruit, especially plums! I have wonderful memories of eating loads of fruit in the summer holidays as we traveled to our favourite holiday spots across New Zealand. Being one of three kids, we sat shoulder-to-shoulder, often sandwiched between pillows, or clothing, or nursing a picnic basket on our laps – maybe a fresh bag of plums Mum had picked up from a stall on the side of the road. My memories are endless.

When I came across this cake recipe by Helen Jackson a few months ago on Foodlovers, it only made sense to make it for my Mum on her birthday. I have this thing about people making their own birthday cakes – it just isn’t right to me.

I was pretty happy with the way this plum cake turned out. We served it, dusted with a light sprinkling of icing sugar, and a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt on the side. It is moist, tender, and wonderfully fruity. It has just the right amount of sweetness.

You can of course use any kind of plums to make this cake. Do note, if the plums are too ripe, they will turn a bit mushy while baking. If they are not ripe enough, they won’t soften enough to infuse the cake with their wonderful juices. Choose ripe plums that are still quite firm to touch.

Alternatively, you can make it with apples, nectarines or peaches!

Late Summer Plum Cake
Serves 12

  • 8 large plums
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 300 grams butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Slice the plums and toss with sugar in a bowl, set aside. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a round cake tin with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add milk, vanilla and then combined flour, almonds and baking powder, gently mix.

Spread batter evenly into cake tin and then cover the surface with sugared plums.
Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until cake tests cooked.  Serve fresh and almost warm with a dollop of yoghurt. Enjoy!

This is my entry for Sweet New Zealand. This month is hosted by Monica at Delissimon. Get along to her blog and check out all the mouthwatering recipes at the end of the month.

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Very Berry Muffins

This recipe for berry muffins is a great way to use up leftover yoghurt and berries. They are fantastic straight out of the oven but keep extremely well in a sealed container for a couple of days. Alternatively, pop them in the freezer and take them out as needed. Tasty.

Very Berry Muffins
Makes 40+ mini muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt (this can be anything – I used a pottle of Meadow Fresh Live Lite Berry Crème)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil (canola is good here)
  • 1 1/2 cup berries (I used frozen raspberries, but a mix of blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries would be great)
  • 3 tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to about 190 degrees. I decided I felt like mini muffins on this particular afternoon but you can easily use whatever you desire – line a standard muffin tray with paper cases or just spray a mini muffin tray.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre of the mixture.

Lightly beat the egg with the yoghurt, milk and oil. Pour into the well and stir together. Lastly fold i the berries. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tray.

Bake in the preheated over for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and while still warm, brush with honey.

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins

What can I say? These muffins are epic. This is your ideal recipe to whip up on a cold, blustery day like it is in Wellington at the moment, infact all over New Zealand I believe!

I like them best straight out of the oven when the piping hot cream cheese just oozes out from between the chocolatety goodness. Incredible.

Guess you’ll just have to try the recipe to know what I’m talkin’ ’bout 🙂

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Filled Muffins
Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Filling:

  • 100 grams cream cheese, softened (I used light Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk until well combined and light in color, for 3 minutes or so. Fold in remaining ingredients until just combined.

In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar and flour together until smooth. Set aside.

Scoop 1 large spoonful of muffin batter into prepared muffin tins to be 1/3 way full. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture into middle of muffin batter (should be about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons per muffin). Scoop another large spoonful of muffin batter and pour overtop cream cheese mixture. Muffin tins should be filled 2/3-3/4 way full.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from tins. Once cooled, store in air tight containers, ideally in the fridge.

They also freeze particularly well 🙂 Enjoy.

Pumpkin, Spinach & Feta Muffins

These muffins are fantastic!

One, they are pretty versatile and two, they are often the result of the great-big-fridge-clear-out. And to honest, they also make for a damn good, healthy lunch.

Okay, so my latest addiction, the Ministry of Food Cheese Scone gives these muffins a more than decent run for their money in terms of lunch material. But give this recipe a go anyway, you will not be disappointed!

Pumpkin, Spinach & Feta Muffins
Makes 12

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 packet feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups pumpkin, cubed and roasted
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups spinach

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. It is best to prepare your choice of vegetables before you start, like roasting the pumpkin cubes and chopping the onion and mushrooms – set aside in a bowl.

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and feta. Add vegetables to dry ingredients. Melt butter and combine with milk, egg and sweet chilli sauce. Add to dry ingredients. Mix to combine, but remember to not over mix. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray.

Bake at 180 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Chocolate Yoghurt Cake

You can never have too much cake.

You can certainly never have too many recipes for cake.

This recipe is fairly easy but I thought I would share it with you anyway! It might look just like a very basic chocolate cake recipe, but it is also, by far, one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever tasted. That’s the truth.

Although I prefer other types of cakes, particularly lemon or carrot, there is something about sinking your teeth into a delicious slice of moist chocolate cake. Just a short post tonight for a very quick and easy recipe! Enjoy.

Chocolate Yoghurt Cake
Serves 16

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add a cup of cold coffee, yoghurt and vanilla and mix until well combined. Place mixture in a greased tin and bake at 180 degrees for approximately 1 hour. The cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean but moist and cake is springy to touch.

Ice, once cooled, with chocolate icing or serve hot from the oven with ice cream for an indulgent dessert.

Spinach and Feta Tartlets

I actually can’t recall when I first saw this recipe. No doubt in some women’s magazine I picked up briefly at the supermarket or in a waiting room. I truly believe one of the best fillings for pretty much *anything* is the spinach and feta combo. Spanakopita, quiche, tarts, omelettes, bread…you just can’t beat it. In fact, I’m pretty sure any time I cook with either it is always a success.

This recipe is a gorgeous combination of spinach and feta cheese in a nice pie crust. I could seriously eat one of these almost every day, well I wish! The filling is so quick and easy to throw together, too.…what’s not to love?

Go on…enjoy this lunchtime delight.

Spinach and Feta Tartlets
Serves 12 

  • 200 grams baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 200 grams creamy feta
  • 200 grams puff pastry
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 grams sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Spray a 12-hole muffin tin. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle and using a pizza cutter, slice into approximately 8 x 8 cm squares. Next carefully mould each piece into the muffin pan.

Pop the spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, nutmeg and eggs into a bowl and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture evenly amongst the pastry cases. Place into the oven to bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.

Put one of these into the lunchbox along with a side salad!

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes

Meet Ming. Ming makes cupcakes. Infact she makes cupcakes, cookies and savouries. I don’t know a lot else about Ming expect she is just an ordinary homebaker like you and I, who likes taking pictures of her baking.

What I do know is that I haven’t quite come across another baking site like hers that makes me drool quite as much as I do when I’m scrolling through this one. Her website is a documentation of a project to test, experiment and create new flavours of cupcakes and other delicious treats. Sounds like a perfect little life to me.

Although I discovered this wee beauty a while ago, I have only made this one so far and it sure is delicious! I definitely recommend.

On a side note, I finally got myself one of these! I can now decorate to my heart’s content and not worry about the little wee things getting squashed!

Sour Cream Berry Cupcakes
Makes 10

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 115 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)

For the icing:

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and egg. Stir in the sour cream.  Add flour mixture.  Stir in the berries.  Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until it goes nice and smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and blend it till it’s really well combined and then throw in the lemon rind and the vanilla essence and give it another couple of stirs. Ice the cupcakes once cooled and if you like, you can top with additional berries or decorate with some white chocolate.