What to call this cake: Sugar plum fairy cake, or Sugars’ fairy plum cake? Hah. Get it? I’m such a dag, I know, but who doesn’t love a play on words? I mean, really, puns are great.
But why would I call this cake a sugar plum fairy cake? Isn’t that a character in the Nutcracker? What does ballet have to do with baking? Well, you’d be surprised. The energy, the resilience, the intensity – ballerinas and bakers have these things in common. I’m kidding. Baking’s a pleasureful hobby, not a back-and-every-other-fragile-part-of-the-body-breaking career – though I suppose it can be if you really want it to be.
Definitely getting side-tracked! Anyway, naming cakes is always hard. How do you encapsulate a sensory delight in a few words? Words are brilliant and the English language is rather thorough, but my grasp is lacking, and I often find it hard to express exactly what I mean. For instance, how do I tell you that this cake is light and moist, but delectably sweet and caramelly with just the right amount of gooey plum goodness? Maybe that’s exactly how I tell you, but until you’ve tried the cake for yourself, you won’t fully understand what I mean.
What’s more, how do I convey that description to you with just a name? Just two words, or maybe 3. How can it be done?! Do I just give in and call this cake, The Most Amazing, Caramelly, Gooey, Tasty Plum Cake? I think not. Imagine saying that every time you talked about the recipe! That would drive me nuts. I’d have to shorten it, make an acronym for it. I could call it the MACGTP cake. Gee, that’s so much easier to say…
I think that settles it. It needs a proper name. Entrèe the Sugar Plum Fairy. Not literally, just metaphorically. It’s a cutesy name, that’s for sure, but it relates to plums, so it’s relevant! And I think the cutesy-ness of the name actually conveys something of the cake itself – it’s soft and gooey and a little bit cutesy, if it’s possible for a cake to be cutesy. And then it’s also a funny name because of my name – double win. (On a side note, I used to be called the Sugar Plum Fairy at primary school – double, double win).
Well that was the long way around, but I think we got there! And so, with much anticipation (I’m sure), I give you, the Sugar Plum Fairy cake!
Sugar Plum Fairy Cake
(aka, The most amazing, caramelly, gooey, tasty plum cake)
Serves 10-12 | Allow 1.5 hours
50g unsalted butter, chopped
110g brown sugar
6-8 plums, halved and seeded
185g unsalted butter, chopped, extra
220g brown sugar, extra
50g almond meal
75g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC and line the base of a 22cm round tin (not springform!) with baking paper, set aside.
- Melt butter and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over the base of the lined tin.
- Place plums, cut side down, on top of the sauce in the cake tin.
- Beat the extra butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until mostly combined.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the flours and almond meal with a large spoon or spatula
- Spread mixture into the pan, on top of the plums.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
- Don’t use a springform tin, unless you’re okay with it getting a bit messy! If you do use a springform tin, place it on a baking tray when it goes in the oven so it doesn’t leak caramel goodness all over your oven.
- You can easily substitute peaches, apricots or nectarines if you like.
- This cake will keep in the pantry for about 3 days, or a week in the fridge.