Friday, September 25, 2009

Plum Kuchen

Plum Cake, or Pflaume Kuchen, is a traditional German cake that is often a staple in German homes.  It is the type of cake that is not necessarily prepared for celebratory occasions, but for the average day to have on hand in case company or family drops by.  I grew up eating Plum Kuchen when my Oma would babysit me during our daily "Coffee Time," (which I'm still convinced is the reason for my petit height).  Coffee Time for my Oma and I always meant a type of Kuchen (often plum, but at times was substituted with apricots or other stone fruit), a mug of extra-strong coffee, and Young and the Restless (which we fondly called Young and the Useless).  Originally I loved Coffee Time because it meant I could drink the beverage that was forbidden for me to have by my parents, as well as devour lots of cake.  But Coffee Time quickly turned into an amazing bonding time for the two of us.  It was through daily Coffee Time that my Oma and I have become so close and I still look back at those times in my life with great fondness and love.

This week my Oma brought us over a big bag of fresh prune plums, and I promised her that I would try my hand at my very own Plum Kuchen.  You can imagine my hesitance at making the dish given it's strong presence in our family, and how tasty Oma's Plum Kuchen is, but that didn't stop me.  I found a Plum Kuchen recipe from Epicurious that grabbed my attention and altered the recipe slightly to create a cake that ended up tasting fairly different from my Oma's but was still just as delicious!  The addition of almond extract added another dimension of flavour to the cake, making mine quite different from Oma's.  I also chose to make mine in a round spring form pan, giving the batter less surface area, and therefore resulting in a thicker cake.  Because the cake is quite dense, some may prefer the cake to be thinner, in which case, I would suggest baking it in a larger pan.  Have a little taste of Germany and bake up up a Plum Kuchen for your next Coffee Time!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1  tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
8 prune plums (or 5 large plums), pitted and quartered

Streusel Topping
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp cold butter

1.  Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.  Butter a 9 inch round pan, or a 13 x9 inch square pan (depending on your preference for thickness of the cake).

2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

3.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter together with the sugar.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, as well as the vanilla and almond extract.  

4.  Beat in the already combined reserved dry ingredients in 2 additions with the sour cream.  Spread batter evenly in pan.

5.  Arrange the plum sliced on their sides in concentric circles atop batter.

Streusel Topping
6.  Mix the ingredients for the streusel topping together using a fork.  Sprinkle evenly over batter.

7.  Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

8.  Serve with coffee!


The imPerfect Housewife said...

Awwwe, that is such a sweet story - I'm picturing you with your grandma sitting and eating/drinking and you probably thought you were so grown up! I'd love if you would just drop by with a Kuchen please - thanks!! ☺

cindy* said...

sweet story and delicious looking cake. lovely!

HannahBanana aka Amanda said...

What a great story...and recipe! I look forward to making this, thanks for posting it!

GarlicBOSS said...

Danielle, there is a lot of history in this cake for you. This Plum Cake sounds delicious..thanks

Parita said...

Cake looks lovely and a perfect tea time treat :)

OceanDreams said...

This is perfect for the fall time, I have never been one to like plum but you are making me want to try it out! :)