I find I have mixed feelings about plums. Perhaps due to the fact that Ireland isn’t exactly the plum producing hub of the world and so my experience with plums is somewhat under ripe. Now is the time of the year when plums begin or are supposed to begin to shine and come into their own. Currently this is not my personal experience but still I live in hope.
After recently finding myself overcome with a sudden craving and urge for plums, an attempt at procuring some was made. Unfortunately this resulted, unsurprisingly in the purchasing of not the richly coloured, tender, sweet juiced gems that are the ideal of what a plum is or could be but instead I found myself with only hard, face contorting tart spheres of disappointment.
Not to be beaten though or in the least ungrateful for my bounty, I determined to make the most of my fruit haul. It became apparent quickly that it was desperately necessary to consult the books and in this case good old Darina Allen came to the rescue as she has many a time before. After being mercifully saved by this recipe the result was a well balanced sourly sweet, moist and indulgent cake that shun with the intensity of Summer and satisfied my vision of plums saving them in my eyes for bitterness and regret.
If you feel in need of similar salvation or simply wish to try this ruby coloured cake yourself, I have included a link to the recipe. Rachel Allen is credited for its creation here however in truth the recipe was in Rachel’s book but devised by Darina (it is so explained in the book itself but not the website strangely) and so,after all credit must go where it is due, here I am compelled to clarify the situation, I just can’t help myself.
This is such an easy cake and really does let the plums shine sweetly. Naturally though I like to make things difficult for myself so when making the caramel I ran into a little conundrum. At home all we use is golden caster sugar, this meant when the recipe instructed cook sugar syrup until golden brown ie. beginnings of caramel, I was left wondering if it starts golden brown what am I watching for? It was fine though have no fear, a little judgment and experience meant it all worked out but word of warning golden caster sugar is not ideal in this particular instance. None the less the cake was delicious and has since been devoured happily.