Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cinnamon-sugar plum cake + Helen Hunt

Cinnamon-sugar plum cake / Bolo de ameixa com açúcar e canela

I once wrote about the type of characters I’d like to play if I were an actress, and now I have to add Helen Hunt’s fantastic Cheryl to the list: not only the character herself is a very interesting one, but also Hunt’s portrayal is one of the best I’ve seen in years – she surrenders completely to the character which is something I’ve seen very few times, and that is rare because very few actresses/actors have the talent to do it.

I know that my opinion doesn’t matter to the movie industry but to me Helen Hunt had the most powerful performance last year – and not even 10 Anne Hathaways shaving their heads screaming a song won’t change that. :)
Although I’m writing about Helen Hunt today, “The Sessions” is a fantastic movie as a whole: a great script – funny, witty, moving – with amazing performances; John Hawkes is absolutely magnificent – a friend sent me a link to a video of the real Mark O’Brien and Hawkes nailed even his voice perfectly – what an astounding performance. And William H. Macy, who is always very competent, is adorable as the priest. “The Sessions” is a movie worth seeing and it is even better than I’d expected.


Plums are in season here now and I’ve been enjoying them a lot lately – unfortunately, some of the plums I’d bought were too sour, even for my taste. I then decided to bake a cake with them, and this delicious recipe – which I believe would be wonderful with nectarines, peaches or cherries – comes from the cookbook that never disappoints.

Cinnamon-sugar plum cake
from the always delicious Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful

1 ¼ cups (175g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) + 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 large plums, pitted, cut into little over 1cm (½in) wedges
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan*.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter and ¾ cup (150g) of the sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, lemon zest and juice, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Press plum wedges halfway into batter in concentric circles, spacing slightly apart. Mix remaining 1 ½ tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over plums. Bake until cake is browned on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cut around cake; release pan sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

* I made the exact recipe above using a 20cm (8in) round cake pan with a removable bottom, base lined with a circle of baking paper

Serves 6-8


Holiday Baker Man said...

I can't wait for summer in this part of the world.

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Oh how this cake makes me long for summer! I've made a very similar cake and it is most delicious :).

Unknown said...

That is a proper summer cake. Belongs on an oak table in a rustic kitchen and needs to be washed down with a cup of tea. Anything less and you're just not doing it properly :)

Tesei said...

Oh goodness, I hadn't heard of the film (when you have babies at home it's hard to be updated with movies releases), I just saw the trailer, it made me cry! Is it normal to cry over a trailer...? Could I bare to see the whole movie...? Parenthood changes you forever, people are no longer just people, but somebody's child... What a brave person O'Brian must have been, chapeau!

Abby said...

Can't wait to see that movie! I think the story line is fascinating.

humblesunset said...

Do you think I could make this with frozen fruit?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, there - I think it would work as long as you use them unthawed!

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