I was excited when Sara asked me to participate in the Cookbook Spotlight for Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I received a copy of the book from the publisher last week. The book is fabulous and chock full of all sorts of scrumptious looking desserts. There are over 100 color photos in the cookbook. I had the hardest time figuring out what I should make first. I finally decided on Dimply Plum Cake. I was prompted to make this because of the lovely full page color photo of the cake. It looked delicious.
To veganize the recipe, I had to replace the butter with Earth Balance. I prefer the Earth Balance that comes in the yellow tub. To replace the eggs, I used an egg replacer called ENER-G. You can find Earth Balance and ENER-G at Whole Foods or any well stocked natural foods store or co-op. Sometimes you can even find them at your regular grocery store. If you’re not vegan but watching your cholesterol, you could use these substitutions to make the cake cholesterol-free.
The cookbook description says it best. Dimply Plum Cake is “a simple brown sugar coffee cake flavored with grated orange zest and a pinch of cardamon.” This cake was scrumptious and I ate two pieces of it. It’s a nice light cake and the flavor of the plums made for a delicious addition. I even tested the cake out on my parents. My dad loved it and also ate two pieces of it. He also ate half of my mom’s second piece! LOL My dad, who is not a cook or baker by any means, starting giving me suggestions on fruit to use next time. I thought that was ironic because the cookbook offers suggestions on other fruits to use, such as peaches with lemon zest and finely chopped basil, nectarines with orange zest, and cherries with lime zest.
My mom thought this cake would be a perfect around the holidays. She told me I can make this our dessert at Christmas. I also gave a piece to my grandma but haven’t heard back yet on what she thought of it. However, my grandma (who is 95) has never met a dessert she doesn’t like.
I’m definitely going to be making this cake again. I’ll probably try out some of the other fruit/zest combinations. I’m looking forward to the next recipe I try from the cookbook (will blog about it soon). I have to add one more thing. You can’t just eat the cake with a fork. You’ll need to use a knife too so you can cut through the plum skin. In other words, you’ll probably want to eat this at the kitchen table rather than plopping down on the couch with a nice cup of tea.
Dimply Plum Cake:
Perfect with a cup of tea (note – this is Rob’s favorite mug. It’s Fire King):
Dimply Plum Cake
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
5 tablespoons Earth Balance, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
Egg Replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (I used ENER-G)
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower (I used safflower)
grated zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums, halved and pitted (I used 5)
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. “Butter” and 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess, and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, if you’re using it, together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the Earth Balance at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the egg replacer, one egg replacer at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. On medium speed, beat in the oil, orange zest, and vanilla. The batter will look very light and smooth, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter, jiggling the plums a tad so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plus and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes – during which time the plums’ juice will return to the fruit – then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up. (Emmy’s note: I didn’t invert).