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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Upside Down Plum Gateau (Cake)

"And now for something completely different"... thank you Monty Python.......

I wanted something different to satisfy my sweet tooth today. Something with fruit. Something light. Perusing, perusing.......Vegetarian Times mag for August has some amazing recipes, including a sour cream plum cake.
Then I also found a beautiful plum cake in America's Test Kitchen's "How Can It Be Gluten Free" cookbook. So I studied those two recipes, and a couple more books that had similar recipes. I'm always open for some tasty inspiration!

I decided to follow ATK's flour blend since their recipe was mostly what I was looking for. I don't always write my own recipes, sometimes I'm inspired by one or more, and then tweak it to suit me and mine. Which is basically what I did for this one. The cake was so fragrant that waiting for it be done was torturous! 

***Oh yes, you can substitute any fruit in place of the plums, but you'll want to rethink the preserve flavor and what type of "spirits" to use, which by the way the alcohol cooks out and it does not taste boozy. You could substitute a juice or nectar in place of the "spirits."   : )

If you wish you could fix the cake part in your food processor, I personally enjoyed just mixing it by hand, and my stand mixer.
So I'll be brief today so you can get started!

ATK's GF Flour Blend:    Makes about 9 1/4 cups
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups) white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cup) brown rice flour
7 ounces (1 1/3 cup) potato starch - NOT FLOUR
3 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch/flour
3/4 ounces (3 Tablespoons) non fat milk powder

Whisk all together and store in an airtight container.
Upside Down Plum Gateau                    Serves 8-10

1/4 cup red fruit preserves, plum, strawberry, red current, or raspberry
1/4 cup cream sherry, plum wine, brandy, OR fruit nectar or juice
1 lb. plums or pluots (which are very delicious, a cross between apricots and plums)
5 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar - superfine - (easy how to's in directions)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill almond meal
4 1/2 oz (1 cup) ATK flour blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt   *if using table salt reduce amount by half
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

whipped cream for serving

** To make superfine sugar simply process granulated sugar in a clean coffee grinder/spice grinder. It will look very close to confectioner's sugar, but without the cornstarch mixed in. It's much more beneficial cost wise! Superfine sugar store bought is ridiculously expensive. Store it in an airtight container.
1. Cut the fruit into 6-8 wedges. 
In a heavy skillet such as Lodge or La Crueset, melt together the preserves and sherry, wine, or brandy, simmer until reduced and thickened. 
Remove from heat and arrange the fruit wedges into the the preserves and wine "jelly". Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes just to soften the fruit. Remove from heat and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
2. Pre-heat oven at 350ºF.
3a. IF you are using the slivered almonds, grind them as fine as possible in your coffee grinder/spice grinder until finely ground. I just don't think that grinding nuts in a food processor makes them fine enough. But if that's how you want to do it, go ahead.
3b. IF you are using the BRM - almond meal, simply mix it with the super fine sugar in a medium sized bowl.
4. Add the ATK flour blend, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum to the almond flour and the superfine sugar, stir until well mixed. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two forks until the the mixture resembles small peas.
5. In your stand mixer bowl combine the eggs, vanilla and almond extract, beat to mix well. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the egg mixture and beat on medium high speed for 4 minutes. This give the dry ingredients time to hydrate, reducing grittiness. Scrape down the bowl. Mixture will be thick and semi-heavy.
6. Once the plums have cooled, scrape the batter on top of the plums. With an offset spatula dipped into water, gently smooth the batter evenly over the plums. 
7. Bake the cake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. Cake will be golden brown on top, and a knife inserted into the middle of the cake only comes out with a bit of crumbs stuck to it. Remove from the oven, and let it sit about 5 minutes, then gently run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a plate over the top of the pan, grasp both pan and plate together and flip quickly. You might want a second set of hands for this! 
 Gently and slowly remove the pan from the cake plate. All of the cake and plums should be together, if not, gently replace the parts that have not come out. Let the cake sit while you whip the cream. Serve warm or room temperature with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Perfect!                      Enjoy!