Tuesday 21 September 2010

British Food Fortnight and Greengage loaf cake

It's the start of British Food Fortnight, running 18th September - 3rd October. I really feel that we are privileged to have such an abundance of fine food in the UK, passionate producers who care about their product, whatever that might be and a growing group of people who are equally passionate about what they eat - where it comes from and what it contains. As a baker many if not most of my core ingredients are not particularly seasonal; butter, flour, sugar. However, given the chance I love to bake with fresh fruit in season, and the UK plum season is currently in full swing. This cake would be great with any variety of plum or gage, or probably even damsons if you can locate them!

On an entirely different note, sometimes I worry about the things I remember. There are many things in my job that I could really do with memorising, learning, understanding and applying in practice. My brain retains very little of the information I fight so hard to push into it on a regular basis. This saddens me.... cake on the other hand seems to have found it's own little dedicated memory department. I had a vague recollection of a BBC Good Food recipe for a plum crunch cake. I seemed to recall that it was in one of my very first magazines. Not only do I still have this magazine, I could even locate it with little bother (those that have seen the disorganised state of my spare bedroom, where said magazine was located may not believe this, but honestly, it's true!) and there was the recipe I remembered, in a feature about plums and dated September 2001. Yes, my brain can remember recipes from nine years ago but struggles to remember T's phone number, various birthdays and inummerable other Important Things. I need help!

Sadly, because this is such an old recipe it isn't on the BBC Good Food website. However, I adapted it sufficiently to call it my own so here I present;

Greengage loaf cake
125g softened butter
175g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
150g greengage flesh, chopped roughly (about 200g greengages)
demarara sugar for sprinkling (only I could only find caster sugar - demerara was my original intention!)

- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C and grease and base line a 2lb (900g) loaf tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour and vanilla extract and mix well until combined.
- Spread about a quarter to a third of the mixture on the base of the tin. Mix the greengage flesh into the remaining mixture and spread it over. I did this to try and stop the greengages sinking. It didn't work, so it's probably not worth bothering with!
- Sprinkle the top of the cake generously with sugar and then bake for 55 min - 1hr 5 min until golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying!
Not quite what I had in mind when I started making this recipe up! In my minds eye was a delicious loaf cake with a neat stripe of greengage slivers running down the top of the cake. Needless to say, they sank without trace and I think ended up on the bottom of the cake, along with most of the other greengages that were added to the mixture!

However, it was a good moist cake, with quite a complex sweetness from the muscovado sugar. I possibly won't make it again as there are many other things out there that I want to try, but it was an enjoyable enough cake.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

I've never baked with plums but have seen some fab looking cakes recently. Must try this one soon

José Manuel said...

Fantastico este bizcocho. Saludos

Maria♥ said...

The Plum Crunch Cake you mention is in my Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes. I made this cake the other day but used damsons instead. The recipe is on my blog!

This loaf cake looks delish.


Chele said...

I really need to try a greengage - I feel so bad for admitting I've never tasted one before! This cake sounds very yummy though ;0)

Alicia Foodycat said...

My mother was very upset when I commented that if less of my brain was used for storing food I could find a cure for cancer. She seems to think I am a disgrace to feminism. I am glad I am not the only one!


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