A beautiful cake that’s easy to make & sure to impress! Vanilla & Almond Plum Layer Cake with Ricotta Icing
With a whole bunch of new baking shows kicking off this Autumn it’s time to dust off your pinny and get involved. Let’s start with this delicious recipe for Vanilla and Almond Plum Cake, a real crowd-pleaser in MY house!
225g unsalted butter, softened
150g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 medium eggs
220g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
140g sour cream
Zest & juice of 2 large oranges
50g ground almonds
6 tbsp Bonne Maman Mirabelle Plum Jam
200g ripe plums, stoned & sliced
Ricotta and Vanilla Icing
250gms mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
75g ricotta cheese
To decorate – frosted rose petals, primroses, fresh rosemary (see ‘Tips’ section below)
1. Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan oven, gas mark 4. Butter and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin.
2. To make the cake, put 175g of the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer with the caster sugar, ½ the vanilla, eggs,
flour and bicarbonate of soda. Beat together until very pale, light and fluffy.
3. Fold in the sour cream, orange zest and ground almonds.
4. Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin. Stir Bonne Maman Mirabelle Plum conserve into the sliced fruit and spread evenly over the cake mixture. Spoon on the remaining cake mixture and level the surface.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
6. To make the icing, beat together the remaining 50g butter with the remaining vanilla paste, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until very smooth. Finally beat in the ricotta cheese. Keep chilled.
7. Cut the cake into 3 even layers. Put one sponge on a serving platter and spread with a layer of icing using a palette knife. Top with second sponge, spread again with icing then finish with the top layer of sponge. Use about half the icing to do this stage. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake, scraping here and
there with the palette knife to give a mottled effect.
8. Decorate with frosted rose petals, primroses and fresh rosemary.
– To frost flowers and herbs, brush them very lightly with lightly whisked egg white then sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to dry at room temperature.
– Assemble cake without final coating of icing the day before and keep chilled. About 4 hours before serving finish with icing and flowers. Keep in a cool place.
– Beautifully sweet yellow Mirabelle Plums have a short season and are usually on sale in the UK late Summer. If not available sliced peaches or apricots also work well.
What are YOUR favourite things to bake?