These little babies of oven-roasted plum cakes bake up fairly quick (25 mins + some prep time) and are quite delicious. The batter is light and the sweetness balances out the plums. When baking it, I made half the recipe as I did not have enough ramekins and substituted the orange zest with lemon zest as I had forgotten to get some oranges. All in all a nice sized little treat.
Do check out the other TWD bakers attempts here.
Recipe: Oven-Roasted Plum Cakes (page 255 of Baking with Julia)
[Makes 12 servings]
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
6 large ripe plums, halved and pitted
Butter for coating the custard or soufflé cups
Preheat oven to 350º. Coat the insides of twelve 8- or 9-oz. custard or soufflé cups very well. Place on a jelly roll pan and set aside.
Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer, cream the butter, 2 tbsp of the brown sugar, and the granulated sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat for 3 minutes more, or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture whitens. Add one of the eggs, increase the speed to high, and beat for about half a minute; scrape down the bowl and paddle, add the second egg, and beat again for 30 seconds. Add the zest and vanilla and, still on high, beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour and baking soda, and beat for just 15 seconds. Pour in the buttermilk and mix for just 30 seconds more. Finish blending the ingredients with a rubber spatula (a precaution to avoid over mixing the batter).
Divide the batter between the eight buttered baking dishes. Place half a plum, cut side up, into each cup on top of the batter. Sprinkle an equal amount of the remaining brown sugar over the plums. Place the jelly roll pan holding the filled baking cups on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. Remove from oven and serve hot with whipped cream, ice cream or crème fraiche, or let cool for ten minutes and use a small metal spatula to remove the cakes from their baking dishes.