from one generation to the next
Finding marzipan locally for Christmas baking in 2016 was impossible. I got in early last year and bought a couple of rolls of the almond confection not knowing exactly what our celebrations and my cooking plans would entail. I was allocated vegetable preparation duty.
I could have just nibbled my way through the marzipan, but a long unexplored fascination with recipes that incorporate marzipan into a cake batter prompted a decision to take advantage of the summer stone fruit season and try a marzipan cake with plums, after all, plums and almonds are closely related.
With a scary number of years of cooking experience behind me I’ve developed the confidence to cautiously put together a cake batter by feel. There’s alchemy in the incorporation of butter sugar eggs flour that when baked, makes cake. It’s about getting the proportions of ingredients right so that the crumb rises and holds, is moist enough to cut without crumbling, but most importantly develops a flavour and mouth feel that leaves you wanting more.
This cake ticks all those boxes.
Marzipan Cake with Plums
170g plain flour
100g almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
200g good quality almond paste (I used Odense)
150g castor sugar
200g butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon almond essence
3 or 4 large blood plums, deseeded and thickly sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
Grease a 28cm round springform pan and line with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced.
Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together to combine.
Grate the marzipan into a mixing bowl, add the sugar then beat on a medium speed until the marzipan is broken up. This will take a few minutes.
With the mixer running, add the butter a little at a time, continuously beating until the mixture is homogenous.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the essence.
Add the dry ingredients then mix to a smooth batter.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin then arrange the wedges of plum in a circle on the top.
Scatter the flaked almonds over the top.
Bake in the cake in the centre of the oven until cooked when tested with a skewer, about 50 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before releasing the spring.
Store in an airtight container.