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The Duchess dons an apron

As soon as I heard about the kitchen, I vol­un­teered to help, cook­ing recipes from my home­land, Al­ge­ria. This cake is one my Mum used to make. She al­ways said plums are an un­re­li­able fruit – they can be quite sour when raw. This brings out the best in them.

Serves 8 – 10

10ml (2 tsp) sun­flower oil, for greas­ing

300g gran­u­lated sugar

100g un­salted but­ter, very soft

2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla ex­tract

¼ tsp salt

8 plums, halved and stoned

40g dark brown soft sugar

2 eggs, beaten

25g corn­flour

50g ground al­monds

100g (200ml) flour

5ml (1 tsp) bak­ing pow­der

Pre­heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 23cm round spring­form cake tin with the sun­flower oil and place on a bak­ing sheet.

For the caramel, put 225g of the gran­u­lated sugar into a small, wide, heavy pan on a low heat. With­out stir­ring, let the sugar dis­solve com­pletely. Once liq­uid, let it gen­tly bub­ble for 15–20 min­utes or un­til it is a deep golden colour. Add 10g of the but­ter, half the vanilla ex­tract and the salt, gen­tly swirling the pan to com­bine the but­ter as it melts.

Once fully in­cor­po­rated, im­me­di­ately re­move from the heat and pour the caramel into the pre­pared cake tin. Place the plum halves on top, cut side down, nes­tled tightly to­gether, and set aside.

In a large mix­ing bowl, beat the re­main­ing but­ter to­gether with the re­main­ing gran­u­lated sugar and the brown sugar un­til pale and creamy: this will take 2–3 min­utes us­ing a hand­held elec­tric whisk; if you don’t have one, use a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beat­ing well.

Once the eggs are well com­bined, add the re­main­ing vanilla ex­tract, the corn­flour, ground al­monds, flour and bak­ing pow­der to the bowl and fold through with a me­tal spoon un­til just com­bined (tak­ing care not to over­mix), then pour mix­ture over the plums. Smooth over the top, then bake for 40–45 min­utes un­til cooked through: a thin skewer in­serted into the cen­tre of the cake should come out clean. Trans­fer the cake to a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin for 5 min­utes be­fore turn­ing out onto a serv­ing plate. To do this, put the serv­ing plate on top of the tin and flip over be­fore re­leas­ing the sides of the tin and re­mov­ing the base.

Let the cake cool for a fur­ther 5 min­utes be­fore slic­ing.

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 ??  ?? Ex­tracted from: ‘To­gether – Our Com­mu­nity Cook­book’, Fore­word by HRH The Duchess of Sus­sex
Ex­tracted from: ‘To­gether – Our Com­mu­nity Cook­book’, Fore­word by HRH The Duchess of Sus­sex

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