Plum, chocolate and hazelnut cake
I came across this plum, chocolate and hazelnut cake on the BBC food website. The photo sucked me in without even looking at the ingredient list. I have a long list of ‘need to try’ recipes but this one jumped the queue straight to the top and had me in the supermarket stocking up the very next day.
Let me tell you, this cake did not disappoint, it was dark, delicious and very, very grownup. The little slivers of dark chocolate tease you without overpowering the delicate and slightly sharp chunks of plum and the hazelnuts give a satisfying bite to an otherwise velvety texture. This is a cake which captures autumn perfectly, leaving you feeling all snug and cosy.
175g butter, plus extra for greasing
175g light muscovado sugar
175g self-raising flour
175g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp hazelnuts
3 tbsp plum jam, heated gently in the microwave
Heat oven to 180˚C. Butter and line the base of a round 20cm cake tin. Halve and stone 4 plums, set aside for later, then roughly chop the remaining plums.
Put the sugar, butter, flour, ground hazelnuts, eggs and baking powder into a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer for 1-2 mins, until smooth and light. Stir in the chopped plums and chocolate, then tip into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
Arrange the halved plums over the top of the mixture, pressing them down lightly, then scatter over hazelnuts. Bake for 40-50 mins until the top is golden and the cake feels firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out, remove the paper and cool on a wire rack. Heat the jam gently in the microwave for 30 seconds, then brush over the top of the cake before serving.