15 Nov // heartbreak pie's greatest hits: plum cake!

I’ve told this story a thousand times, but there’s cake at the end so bear with me. When I was 25 I started a food blog called Heartbreak Pie. I had seen a few food blogs overseas and thought “I could do that” plus I was freshly single, so I started writing about cooking and eating to make myself feel better. I didn’t think anyone, except for maybe a few food blogging American ladies, would read it. It was a cathartic, creative outlet which gave me something to do at night in my then shitty and cold and damp Mt Vic flat. They were the days before instagram, before excessive oversharing on the internet was commonplace, and at the time it felt very new and fun and exciting.

I am now 32 and thinking about some of the stuff I wrote and put on the internet makes me criiiiiinge, a bit like reading a teenage diary except that heaps of people have read it. Yeesh. Anyway! So last year I had a bit of a rebrand (/blog identity crisis) and decided my internet food writing could just happen under my name, and so I quietly removed Heartbreak Pie from the public eye (RIP/good riddance), had a bit of a party, launched delaneymes.com, and so here we are.

The thing is, it was five years worth of writing and recipes, and some of them were quite good. Lots of them were other people’s recipes - in the early food blogging days there was a lot more ‘hey here I am making Nigella’s mince cheesecake and I added glitter and it was great!’ but then I started writing recipes of my own and lifted my game a bit, but what I’m trying to say is that there really were lots of good recipes on that there cringe-diary food blog.

And so it is, here and now in 2016 that I am reblogging a few of my favourites. The idea came with a recent comment on my facebook page from a woman in Finland who commented on a very, very old facebook post of a link to the now deleted HBP post of this cake. Her comment simply said: its our favorit cake and I loos your recipe ;(   I cannot tell you how strange it was to receive a message from a stranger in Finland who used to read my weird diary heartbreak blog, and who loved my cake so much that she trawled a facebook page back to 2011 to comment. The power of the internet, honestly it sometimes makes me emotional. But anyway! I sent her the recipe and she told me I made her day but I thought: the greatest hits should live on.

So here we are. A rather lovely, butter-and-sugar, ground almonds, plum, and yoghurt cake, with a tin of black doris plums (a treat when I was a kid and still very much a favourite). An easy, impressive and delightful cake, whether warm for pudding, cold for afternoon tea, or at room temperature standing in your underwear at your kitchen bench contemplating your life at 32 holding a coffee, for breakfast.

Thanks to Saša in Finland for trawling my facebook page and to everyone everywhere reading x

Plum and yoghurt cake

Ingredients

125g butter

200g white sugar

2 eggs

150g plain flour (I often use spelt flour, which is lovely and light)

1½ tsp baking powder

50g ground almonds

220g natural or greek yoghurt

1 x 850g tin black doris plums 

 

Preheat oven to 190C and line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper and butter. Drain the tin of plums into a sieve (handy hint! I mixed the plum liquid with some water and froze it into ice cubes/spheres to fancy-up my drinks).

Cream together the butter and sugar very well, until pale and fluffy. Thistakes ages. When you think it's done, give it another couple of minutes. You want genuinely pale and soft. It will be worth it!

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture. Gently fold together until incorporated (I use my cake mixer on very low speed here).

Add the yoghurt and ground almonds, and mix to combine (again I use my cake mixer, but a spoon works fine!)

Scrape the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Remove the stones from the plums and gently press plum halves (they break in half easily) into the top of the cake. 

Bake for 50 minutes until golden. Turn the oven off, but leave the cake in the oven until cool (overnight is fine). This will help set the cake, although it's totally fine removed after 50 minutes and left to cool on a rack as normal. 

When ready to serve, dust the cake with a little icing sugar, and serve with yoghurt. It's also good gently warmed with softly whipped cream, and it's also really good with a thin layer of cream cheese icing made with just vanilla extract, lime or lemon juice, and a teency bit of icing sugar. Enjoy!