Plum cake

For the plum season I would like to share a very nice but simple cake recipe with you:

Break up a cube of yeast in a mixing bowl and dissolve it in one cup of milk (best using a kneading machine). It is important to use sterile milk since yeast does not interact with normal milk. Do not add cooking salt, which also inhibits yeast activity. Then add four handfuls of wheat flour (no. 405) and half a handful of sugar. Let the ingredients be kneaded as long as necessary by the machine to create a soft dough.

Cover the mixing bowl with a plate and leave to incubate in a heating cabinet for thirty minutes at 28 degrees Celsius. During this time the dough will rise. If it comes out too moist, knead in a bit more flour. Then roll out the dough to give a very thin layer. Turn the dough around every now and then to avoid its sticking to the base. Then place it onto a buttered baking tray and cut off any overlapping rim. Do not bother to bend it upwards. No one likes eating it anyway. Cover the baking tray (with a second tray) and leave to rise for another quarter of an hour.

In the meantime, wash, halve and pit the plums. Use a small and sweet variety of plum (which is easy to pit). These are best bought on the market from September to October. We usually keep a few crates in the refrigeration room and bake one cake after the other until December. You can halve the plums laterally to create two cups. These can be placed onto the dough in such a way as to prevent the juice from running onto the thin cake base and soaking it through.

Remove the baking tray from the incubator. The dough should have risen from three to six millimetres and should be soft and fluffy. Generously sprinkle the dough with ground cinnamon and some sugar. The dough should be well covered all over. Then stack the plums tightly in rows until there is no gap left.

If correctly made, the crumble is the glory of a good plum cake. You should use equal portions of butter, sugar and flour. Mix half a kilo of small, cold bits of butter with the sugar (rather use the coarse type) in a plastic bowl using a wooden or plastic masher until you obtain a homogeneous mass. Then thoroughly knead in the flour. Finally scatter the crumble in coarse bits over the plums. Every now and then, the crumble should be put into the refrigerator for ten minutes to keep it cool until the cake is finally placed into the oven. This will ensure that the crumble is very tender.

First leave the cake to rise at 28 degrees Celsius for five minutes, then increase to 180 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crumble turns slightly golden. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool. Do not cut it too soon or the cake will be too moist. It is best after two hours. If the cake is still too firm, leave it to rest for one more day.

Any remaining dough is ideal for pizza. It can be layered with salami, diced bacon, olives, red pepper, mushrooms, tomato and topped with grated cheese (parmesan, Gruyère, Swiss Emmental) or buffalo mozzarella slices.

Guys, with this recipe you’ll win any girl’s heart. Enjoy!

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