Roast Plum & Tarragon Cake

Cake with roasted plums

If I had to choose a favourite stone fruit I think it would be plums, particularly blood plums. I love the colour and the slightly tart skin and the sweet inner flesh. Plums roasted or stewed with some warm spices such as cinnamon, allspice or star anise and then bottled make a very welcome treat through the cooler months, when the fruit options are more limited. But you should also make the most of them while they are in season.

After quite a few goes with little success, this year our tarragon plants are thriving. I don’t know if its the weather, or we’ve done something different but whatever it is it’s working. As it needs using, tarragon has found its way into quite a few dishes, including this roast plum cake. And it works really well, adding a slightly fresh, aniseedy flavour. However if you don’t have access to any fresh tarragon don’t let that stop you from making this cake. You could use some thyme instead or just leave the herbs out all together. The cake won’t be any the worse for it.

I make this cake in a cast iron skillet, which if you’re serving it for dessert you can take the skillet straight to the table. It works equally well made in a round 23cm tin or even in a couple of bar loaf tins. Use what you have and just keep an eye on the cooking times as it will vary depending on the tin size.

Tarragon roasted plums

Don’t limit yourself to plums, almost any baked or roasted fruit will work with the cake base. Try roasted rhubarb, or peaches or in the cooler months poached pears or baked apples.

Plums from the oven

Just a tip, don’t fiddle around trying to remove the stone from the plums before you roast them. Just roast the whole plums and after about 20 minutes in the oven the fruit will have collapsed and you will be able to easily remove the stone.


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Roasted Plum and Tarragon Cake
Cake with roasted plums
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cake with roasted plums
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Grease a 23cm cast iron skillet or line a similar sized round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the whole plums into the lined baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over 55g of sugar. Strip the leaves from about 3 sprigs of tarragon and add to the pan. Gently toss the plums so that they are coated in oil and sugar. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the fruit has collapsed slightly.
  3. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, pour the juice from the plums into a small saucepan. Remove the stones from the plums and discard.
  4. Strip the leaves from the remaining sprigs of tarragon and chop finely.
  5. Cream the butter and 200g of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time making sure that you mix each one well. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add both of the flours, buttermilk and chopped tarragon and mix until it is just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared skillet or cake tin. Place the plums on top of the cake batter. Bake in the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If you have baked the cake in a tin, leave it for about 10 minutes to cool slightly before turning it out onto a cooling rack.
  7. To make a sauce to serve with the cake. Add 55g of sugar to the saucepan with the plum juice. Place on the stove over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the plum juice has thickened slightly. Serve a slice of the cake with ice cream or cream and with a drizzle of the plum sauce.
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