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October 25, 2013
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We all have our favourite recipes. Some of mine are from my mum and her Yorkshire family, some are from my passion for cookery at school (I was going to teach it until life took another path). When my son trained as a chef I got hints and tips from him.

I love recipe books and will trawl through them as light reading – especially my favourites Nigel Slater, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Nigella.

So how come I return again and again to the same ones – I always have those ingredients, I know they work, the family like them!

So at least once a week I make the effort to try something new out. This week I had some lovely plums so googled plum recipes and found this Plum Cake on Martha Stewart. I often find her recipes too “faffy” for me but this one is nice and straight forward. The only thing I had to buy in was the sour cream. The result was well received but next time I think I’ll add a little more fruit.


3/4 cup (175g) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing tin
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup sour cream
3 plums, halved, pitted, and cut into eighths – I will add a couple more in future
Icing sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-by-2-inch or a 9-inch cake tin and line bottom with a round of parchment.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, bicarb of soda and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. With mixer on low, beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated then beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in 1/2 the flour mixture, then sour cream.

5. Add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined.

6. Spread mixture into tin and smooth top with a knife. In a bowl, toss plums with 2 tablespoons flour and one of sugar and sprinkle over mixture.

Top mixture with the plums

Top mixture with the plums

7. Bake until cake is golden, about 30 minutes; loosely tent with foil and bake until cake pulls away from side of pan and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes more.

Bake till golden

Bake till golden

8. Let cake cool completely in tin. Run knife around cake edge and remove cake from pan. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Plum Cake

Plum Cake

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