Summer keeps deserting us here in NZ. Apparently El Nino is here to stay and she is wet, very wet. That relentless rain that you know is settling in for the day, simply a continuous downpour pitter pattering for hours at a time. So we are missing out on our usual long hot sunny days, BBQs, G&Ts on the deck or an early afternoon Pimms, picnics on the beach, sand between your toes, sunburn...all the pieces of a kiwi summer.
Much as I would rather have blue skies and sunshine, grey and overcast or wet and wild do lend themselves to reading (The Lucky Peach, lots of food blogs, Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits, about to start Keith Richard's Autobiography), Boardwalk Empire marathons, multiple trips to the movies (The Iron Lady; Meryl is amazing, The Whistleblower; heart wrenching but brilliant, The First Grader; wonderful but take the Kleenex along, The Debt; classic old school spy thriller) and of course baking and cooking. Maybe a chore for some but for me a perfect afternoon.
So one afternoon saw bread baked, some Seedy Oat Bread and my new favourite Braided Garlic and Herb Bread from here. Then it was on to cake, as afternoons also lend themselves to cups of tea and it being the holidays it is only appropriate that tea comes with cake. The basic base for this cake comes from Donna Hay and true to form it couldn't be easier as it is a one bowl wonder.
Plum & Lemon Cake
1 1/2 cups (225g / 8 oz) self raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup (165g / 6 oz) caster sugar
125g / 4 1/2 oz butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
zest of 1 lemon
2-3 plums cut in to thin slices
2 tbsp demerara sugar
Pre heat the oven to 160C/325F
Place the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, milk and lemon zest in the bowl of a mixer and beat until just combined as you don't want to over mix it. Spoon the mixture in to a 22cm (9 inch) cake tin greased and lined with baking paper. Top with the slices of plum and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. Test with a skewer and when the cake is cooked a skewer will come out clean. Allow the cake to cool, slice and eat along side a cuppa.
The cake bakes up wrapping around the plums and there is a lovely lemon scented sweetness about this cake that is offset by the slightly tarter plums. Not to mention that lovely, almost crust like topping from all that demerara sugar. Perfect on a rainy day with a cuppa. Here's hoping for some sunny days as we head off to Waiheke for a few nights...
If you like this you might like this Clementine Cake
One Year Ago Roasted Peach Melba Ice Cream