…or: my recipe names should be shorter.
I took a little hiatus from blogging for a couple of days. Things were and are a bit stressful around here and time seems to be running faster than ever. But there was also some fun, a couple of days ago we made a day trip to Prague. It’s a three-hour trip by car or train and I still cannot get over the fact that there are no borders in Europe anymore. Yay, Europe! These days, you just take the highway to Prague. Why am I not doing this every weekend? I will post the Prague photos (only buildings, no food) in my next post, right now I “only” have a recipe for you.
While we were in Prague, P. bought a bottle of slivovice to get rid of the Czech money we had left (and because I wanted the bottle so badly). Slivovice is a liquor made from damson plums and it tastes similar to Kirschwasser. It’s very popular in many Eastern European countries.
Since plums are coming out of everyone’s ears right now, I made a slivovice plum compote to serve as a filling for a plum cake. Too many plums? Never!
The most common plums in Germany are the same plums that are used for slivovice: damson plums or Italian plums. They are small, purple, with yellow-green flesh and an oval shape. They are firm and not too sweet, which makes them perfect for any kind of cake, but they can also be made into jams and they dry very well. This compote is addictive. It is so addictive that P. who never drinks (but often buys) alcohol, wanted eat it all straight from the pot.
(if you can’t find slivovice or slivovitz, you can use rum, vodka, or kirsch instead)
200 g Italian plums, pitted and halved
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sucanat
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla (If possible, don’t substitute extract. It’s not the same.)
3 tablespoons slivovice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
Of course I couldn’t leave that compote alone. I wanted to make another plum cake. After my last attempt, I realized that I don’t hate plum cakes. I always thought I did, but I just never met the right cake. Now I’ve met one I want to marry. Seriously. It’s a sweet cake which has a soft and moist crumb and a very buttery crumb topping. The plums are juicy and sweet and not too overwhelming (as in most plum cakes I’ve tasted) and the poppy seeds add some crunchiness and a unique flavour. Yeah, I’m in love with this cake
Poppy Seed Plum Cake with Slivovice Plums (makes 12 pieces)
For the topping:
1/4 cup slivovice plums ( see above)
500 g pitted and halved plums (Italian or damson are best)
Prepare the plums and set aside.
For the streusel topping:
100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
100 g coconut oil (7 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon), softened (I use the refined but not hydrogenated kind)
120 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients until the coconut oil is incorporated well and the dough comes together. Place in the fridge.
For the cake:
150 g sugar (3/4 cup)
1 envelope bourbon vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoons extract)
130 g margarine, softened (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
120 g plain soy yoghurt (1/2 cup)
240 g all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy milk
Preheat oven to 180°c (350°F). Grease a 27 cm (10 inch) springform pan and set aside. With a hand-held mixer, cream together sugar, vanilla sugar, and margarine until light and fluffy. Add yoghurt and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. This is a German “Rührteig” batter, which has a consistency similar to buttercream frosting. The dough may seem a bit stiff but it will make a perfectly soft and moist cake. Trust me, don’t add more soymilk.
Pour the batter into the pan and distribute it evenly. Pour 1/4 cup slivovice plums on top. Make sure you pour them into the centre and don’t spread the rather liquid compote to the sides. Arrange plums on top of cake and compote. Distribute them evenly. Take crumb topping out of the fridge and crumble evenly over the plums. Bake for 50 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes and very carefully remove from pan. Serve with remaining slivovice plums.