My friend Mark gave me some beautiful just ripe pluots from his tree recently. I picked up a small container of wild plums from the farmer’s market the same day. Both fruit, along with the only black pepper mixture I use in my kitchen, Flower Pepper, which was given to me by another friend, Jesse, are the main ingredients for this very dense, moist everyday cake.
There is a cookbook I purchased last year, A New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, that I pretty much adore. My recipe is a riff on one of the recipes from her book. I simple cannot say how densely moist it is, how the fruit and the black (flower)pepper create a magical flavor profile. No frosting, nothing la-di-dah about this one. It is a cake for sharing.
Wild Plums, Pluots and Black (Flower) Pepper Cake
For the recipe for making your own Flower Pepper, click on the link in the post.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar/caster sugar (put in a food processor and pulse a few times to make finer if you do not have caster sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper, divided (Flower Pepper or any good quality black pepper)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk
4-6 ripe small plums, or pluots, or wild plums (can be a mixture of all) pitted and quartered
a small handful of slivered or sliced or chopped almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a springform pan and line with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar, vanilla and 2 teaspoons of the black pepper until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended.
- In another bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, the almond flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper.
- Add the flour mixture gradually into the butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon stir in the milk until well blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. This batter is rather thick so use your spoon to spread batter evenly.
- Arrange the quartered fruit on top of the batter. Just barely push down into the batter. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper over the top of the fruit and then the almonds.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Remove the sides of the pan and continue to cool on a wire rack. Right before serving brush the top of the cake with the maple syrup.
This recipe is a slight riff on a recipe in “The New Way to Cake” by Benjamin Ebuehi. Her recipe is “Plum and Black Pepper Cake”. Published by Page Street Publishing.