an almond and plum cake to die for
Updated: Jun 16, 2019
It is not often I get my hands on lily-of-the-valley around where I live. In Romania, though, while growing up, I remember fields and fields of them. Their smell is enchanting and they speak spring to me. I was so happy when last year a friend brought some to me, and I HAD to make a cake to display them. I am sure you understand where I am coming from. Plus, any reason is a good reason to bake a cake, isn't it?!
Almond and plum is a combination made in heaven. The tanginess of the plums blends perfectly with the soft, yet distinctive flavor of roasted almonds. Not to mention, when orange glaze is added to the mix, your day couldn't be better. In terms of photographing this recipe my intention was to bring that 1920's flair by arranging the plums in an art deco pattern. As for the antique newspapers and photographs, you will see I use them quite often in my pictures. They speak to me and inspire me to create timeless recipes.
3 medium sized plums (I used Flavor King Pluot), sliced, pits removed
oil spray (for the pan)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup brown sugar, divided
1 1/4 cup ground almonds (I grind my own, haven't tried using store-bought almond flour)
2 tablespoons baking flour
the zest from 2 oranges
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, no pulp
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, spray a shallow baking pan with oil and set aside (I used an 11x7 inch oval pan).
By the help of a hand mixer, blend the butter and 1/4 cup of brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, ground almonds, flour, orange zest and baking powder, and mix until incorporated. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, arrange the plum slices on top, and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Meanwhile make the orange glaze by placing the orange juice, Grand Marnier, honey, and the 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the orange glaze for about 15 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Mix from time to time and watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. When done, remove from the heat and place aside (keep warm).
When the cake is baked, let it cool down for about 30 minutes and serve with the warm orange glaze.