Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Plum and Oatmeal Loaf Cake

Every summer we receive plums in abundance my granddad's orchard and a few from our back garden plum tree. Ripe plums are soft, juicy and not too sweet, but however delicious they are, there are only so many we can eat. So a large proportion get turned into cakes, my older sister and I each having a preferred recipe.  I was a bit rushed in taking photos but I thought I'd share this recipe anyway as it's such a favourite of mine.
It's always nice to use seasonal produce, especially when you know where its come from, and plums are perfect for cakes as they stay soft but not soggy. This madeira cake is made with oatmeal which gives it a really good texture as a loaf.

There's something I really like about loaf cakes, which I can't really put my finger on. They're a good size and easy to serve, a look nice plain and unadorned. The little drizzle of orange icing makes this a little more elegant and adds a small extra texture and sweetness. My drizzling isn't very neat, and the cake isn't a great looker, but often it's the more rustic cakes that taste the best. Sugary perfection in cake decorating doesn't always to taste as good as it looks! And I can promise you this delivers on flavour, deep plum with hints of orange. I added ginger to my last cake and thought it went nicely with the plums. 

Plum and Oatmeal Loaf Cake

250g English plums
100g butter, softened
1 orange, zest and juice 

2 medium eggs
125g self-raising flour 
1⁄2tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger, optional
50g medium oatmeal*
100g icing sugar

*To make oatmeal yourself, grind up 125g porridge oats and then pass through a sieve to remove any remaining whole oats.

   Preheat your oven to 170C and line a loaf tin. I've found these loaf liners from Lakeland very useful. Halve the plums and take out the stones, then slice them into medium pieces
   Beat together butter, orange zest and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, plus a tablespoon of the flour with each to prevent curdling. Sift in the remaining flour and the baking powder. Add the oatmeal and mix to combine.
   Stir in two-thirds of the plums and tip into the loaf tin. Scatter remaining plums on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Carefully remove from load tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. 
   While the cake is cooling make the icing: beat together the icing sugar and enough orange juice to make a smooth paste. Once the cake is cooled, drizzle over the icing and enjoy!

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