I’ve used gorgeous dark fleshed plums but any ripe, fragrant plum will work. To get maximum fruit into the cake, I do a double topping, adding the second layer of plums half-way through cooking.
12 medium, ripe fresh plums, halved and stoned
150 grams butter, very soft but not melted
175 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
3 large eggs, size 7
100 grams ground almonds (almond meal)
100 grams brown rice flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 very ripe banana, mashed
finely grated zest and juice 1 orange
1½ cups icing sugar, sifted
toasted flaked almonds and freeze-dried plums, optional
Grease a 22cm square cake tin and line fully with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake. Take 8 of the plum halves and cut each into 3 wedges and set aside. These are for the second topping.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well mixed.
Combine the almonds, rice flour, salt, baking powder and the ginger. Add to the butter mixture along with the banana, orange zest and juice and fold together using a large metal spoon. Tip into the tin and smooth the top.
Arrange the plum halves, cut side up over the top of the batter.
Bake for 25 minutes then remove the cake from the oven and quickly place the plum wedges gently on top. Bake for another 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if over-browning. Cool in the tin before removing.
Icing: Combine the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick but pourable icing. Drizzle over the cake then scatter over the almonds and crumble over the freeze-dried plums if using. The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. Makes 1 cake.