Mum got back from Shimla a few days back with a small token of love… 20 kgs of fruit!! This, on top of my stash. We have plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, greengages now literally coming out of our ears! I don’t even want to talk about how much fruit we are eating and the frenzied pace at which we are slicing and freezing. But I’m loving it as all this nature’s bounty is wonderfully inspiring, drives me to cook with them, bake with them…and so this cake. This gorgeous, bejewelled cake.
Cooking or baking with fruits is great way to use up produce past its prime or threatening to do so. Once fruits are baked, their flavor really intensifies. They add so much texture, sweetness and moisture to the bake…their juices run and seep into the cake, making it almost pudding like. Well almost!
So I did start off wanting to make a cobbler, wherein thick cake batter is spooned over fruits and then baked. It’s really quite delicious. But then, because I must tamper with every recipe, I changed my mind and decided to spoon the batter first in the pan then put plums and apricots on top, sprinkled on a bit of sugar and off it went in oven for a makeover. What happened is that the fruit sunk in a bit, batter rose up around it, wherever it got space as I really crammed the surface with the good stuff, browned with caramelized bits here and there, the pile of fruit creating almost jam like puddles and smelling like heaven!
I recently bought a pack of raw sugar and so it had to be used! While it doesn’t offer any calorific or nutritional advantage over regular white sugar, it is less processed and gives a richer flavor due to some amount of molasses in it. It’s also slightly less sweeter than the white sugar.
I used my favorite combination of buckwheat and almond meal to make the cake batter. Not only does it make the cake gluten-free but also makes it nutritionally rich. I love the nuttiness of almond meal and earthiness of buckwheat, along with the sweet tart fruit..the cake is moist, light and simply divine.
Ground almonds – 80 gms (3/4 cup)
Buckwheat – 120 gms (1 cup)
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Eggs – 2
Raw sugar – 105 gms (3/4 cup) plus 2 Tbsp extra
Coconut oil – 120ml (1/2 cup)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Plums – 5, sliced
Apricots – 8, sliced
How to :
Pre heat oven to 180 C. Grease a 9″ pan. Line bottom of the pan with baking/ parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine buckwheat flour, ground almonds,baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
Beat the eggs and sugar really well, for about 4-5 minutes, till pale and thick. Slowly add the coconut oil. Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice.
Fold in the dry ingredients taking care not to overmix. Spoon the batter out in prepared pan. This is a thick batter so you will need to spread it out evenly in the pan.
Scatter the sliced fruits ( cut side down) all over the surface. Sprinkle the extra sugar all over the fruits and bake for 35-40 mins, until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for about 20 minutes before turning it out on a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. We enjoyed it cold, straight out of the refrigerator as well.