Mar 12, 2012

Upside down plum cake (and Beerenberg giveaway winner)

With all the crazy rain we've had recently, Warragamba dam has certainly reached its storage capacity. After almost a decade of drought, you would think this a great thing. But we are a land of extremes and after dealing with times of drought the rains have come.

Many people, especially towns out west are cut in half by flood waters. But even the city didn't escape flooding and this past week saw a traffic nightmare throughout Sydney due to roads cut off by water.

While we live up fairly high, our main access road crosses the Hawkesbury River. This is our main road in and out. The only other option is to go further up the mountains crossing them and doing a loop that would take 2 to 3 hours. So on hearing the news last Friday that the bridge over the hawkesbury was due to be closed, both Mr Shady Pine and I dashed home from work not wanting to be cut off and be subjected to the alternate long drive home.

What I didn't expect was such a panic from people. I stopped in at our closest supermarket on my way home to get some extra supplies in case the bridge was closed for several days and was faced with mayhem. People were everywhere cleaning out the shelves. I felt like I was on the set of a disaster movie. So I grabbed the essentials and high tailed out of there as quick as I could.

In the end the bridge was only closed for a day as the flooding wasn't as severe as predicted. But while it was closed I did enjoy a sense of being cut off from the world for a little while. I pottered around the house. I thought about how we would get on if we were completely cut off for a long time. I figured from the supplies in our pantry, freezer and garden we would probably have enough food to feed us for a month easily.

I also baked. With lots of stranded neighbours I figured I would have a cake on standby for any visits. I had exactly 4 plums in the fruit bowl and this recipe called for 4-5. This cake is a really lovely balance between the fruity plums and cake batter. Also, because the plums are spread out on the bottom of the cake tin with sugar, they turn really jammy, sticky and delicious when the cake is turned out.

I am also pleased to announce that Sarah from From my Vegie Patch to Plate is the winner of the Beerenberg giveaway draw....congratulations Sarah!

Upside down plum cake
Adapted from cake recipe here

4 plums
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
60g butter
¾ cup sugar (preferably raw caster sugar)
½ cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Line the base of a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper.
3. Sprinkle 2 Tbs of sugar on the base. Arrange the plums in a circular pattern on top of the sugar and covering the base of the tin.
4. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter, vanilla, sugar and egg with a mixer until the sugar has dissolved.
5. To the butter mixture, add the flour, baking powder, bicarb and milk and mix well with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter.
6. Spoon the cake batter over the top of the plums ensuring the batter is well spread out.
7. Bake for 25 minutes. The cake will be cooked when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cook for 5 minutes in the tin before turning it out.
9. This cake is best served warm with a dollop of cream if desired.


marthameetslucy said...

I think the best time to bake is in the rain. The cake looks delicious, perfect with a cup of tea and a book.

tania@mykitchenstories said...

My sister lives in your area and was also cut off. Its very surreal isn't it, especially the way people panic when the shop may be closed for a day!. Still a day or two stuck at home can't be bad and you got to eat this delicious cake. Yum

yummychunklet said...

What a great upside-down fruit cake!

sarah @ vegie patch to plate said...

Beautiful cake, my husbands fave, he bakes regularly a similar recipe. I'm thrilled to have won the prize, thank you so much. Big cheers all round in our house, they will be happily enjoyed. I'm looking forward to trying the beetroot and balsamic relish. Thanks again!

lisa is cooking said...

Good to hear you were only cut off for a day. And, what a great-looking cake. The plums look delicious.

shez said...

So glad to hear you weren't cut off for too long (though by the sounds of it, a little break from the big wide world wasn't all too bad to you).

The cross-section of the cake looks amazing with its golden crumb and rose coloured top. How beautiful!

Hotly Spiced said...

We certainly have had a lot of rain. When will it stop. Nothing in Australia seems to be in moderation. If it's not one thing it's another. Your plum cake looks so delicious. Perfect for a day when you are trapped in your house. Great styling and lovely images.

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

This cake looks beautiful. I love the blush colours. If I were trapped inside in wild weather, I certainly would be happy with a slice of this :)

Kimber said...

Yum! This looks so finger-licking sweet. :) Thanks for sharing!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm glad to hear that you're ok and that it wasn't too bad. The flooding in some areas is quite scary!

OohLookBel said...

It must have been scary to be threatened with flooding. Glad you came out of it ok, and this delicious cake is a great way to celebrate.

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Wow Anna...what a gorgeous cake! Such a beautiful color! Isn't it crazy when people freak out at the market when the weather turns inclement! But glad you were there to get the ingredients for this really lovely cake! : )

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely! That cake looks amazing. I adore plums.



Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

I know what you mean about people panicing at supermarkets during the floods. The same thing happened here in Brisbane last year. It was just insane, and a bit silly really.

Your upside down plum cake looks divine. I really love plum cakes, they work so beautifully and taste so delicious.

Elizabeth said...

This looks SO delicious!

Elizabeth said...

This looks SO delicious!

Martyna@WholesomeCook said...

I love a good plum cake - I make a very similar one and serve it with ice cream. And you're right, I've been baking lots too in this rain...