Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Plum and marzipan torta with cardamom sugar for the end of the summer

Plum and marzipan torta with cardamom sugar / Bolo de ameixa e marzipã com cardamomo

I cannot wait for fall to come – I never liked hot days and have had enough with the high temperatures around here. Summer was never a favorite of mine, not even when I was a kid, so you can imagine how uncomfortable these past months have been for me.

There is one good thing about summer: the delicious produce we have at this time of the year. Corn, tomatoes and stone fruits – my favorites. However, while flipping some cookbooks weeks ago, it suddenly hit me: summer is almost over and I haven’t baked or cooked much with stone fruit. I love them so much yet I keep baking recipes with citrus or chocolate or peanut butter – I should enjoy these beauties while there’s still time.

For that reason I decided to make at least one of the plum recipes I saw on the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller (and I plan on making another next weekend): this torta, or cake, beautifully presented with gleaming plum halves. The addition of marzipan was my idea because anything almond always pairs wonderfully with anything stone fruit – this time was no different and I’m very proud of that. ;)

Plum and marzipan torta with cardamom sugar
slightly adapted from the always stunning Gourmet Traveller

Poached plums:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
200ml water
5 plums, halved and stones removed

½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
130g granulated sugar
225g all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100g marzipan, in small pieces – I used homemade
2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing the cake

Cardamom sugar topping:
1 tablespoon icing sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom

For poached plums, stir sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat to dissolve sugar, then bring to the simmer. Reduce heat to low, add plums and poach until tender (10-12 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) square cake pan, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Combine milk and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk the egg and sugar in a separate bowl to combine, then add milk mixture, flour, baking powder, salt, melted butter, vanilla and lemon zest, whisk until smooth, then pour into prepared pan. Drain plums (discard poaching liquid) and press gently into cake batter. Scatter with marzipan pieces and press them lightly into the cake batter. Bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean (25-30 minutes). Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Turn right way up again (carefully), then brush with melted butter.
For cardamom sugar, combine sugar and cardamom, scatter on top of warm cake and serve warm or at room temperature. The torta is best eaten on the day it’s made.

Serves 6-8 – I made the exact recipe above using a 20x28cm tart pan with a removable bottom


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Beautiful torta, I love plums with cardamom!

LeAndra said...

I understand your feelings about the seasons, but from where I sit in the world, I cannot wait for spring to get here! I love warm days and have had enough of the cold winter. Now I have a recipe to try once it's finally summer. :)

Melody said...

Gorgeous photo! I love all the linens you include. It has inspired me to use mine rather than forget them in a drawer. :

Patricia Scarpin said...

Melody, I'm addicted to linens! My husband says that there will come a day when I'll no longer have room for them at our apartment. :D

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