Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gluten-free upside down plum and chocolate cake

Last night, I had friends over for dinner for the first time in what seems forever.  It will have been at least a couple of years since I have made dinner for friends, and this was nearly the dinner party that wasn't - I had forgotten about it until at 2.30pm on the day, one of my friends emailed me to ask if 7pm was OK.  Yikes!  It was back to the grocery store, and I had no time to fuss about the menu as I might have if I had had the time.  My first thought was roast (always great for a dinner party because it's easy and a crowd pleaser), but I didn't have time to cook a full roast in the oven if I wanted to make dessert as well.  In the end, I bought chicken pieces, sprayed them with vegetable oil, and sprinkled them with cayenne pepper and rosemary.  I paired the chicken with roasted pumpkin, baby potatoes and cherry tomatoes, and beans a la Sunday on the side.

For dessert, I decided to make a cake that I had been eyeing up for a while in Issue 22 of Masterchef magazine.  It was a gluten free upside down plum and chocolate cake, by Melbourne blogger Jasmine of The Gluten Free Scallywag.  Neither me nor my friends have a requirement for gluten-free food, but I made the recipe as stated because I had the gluten free flour anyway.  This was a devine cake, perfect to be served for pudding warm with icecream.  I used pluots instead of blood plums, so my cake has yellow rounds peeking out inside of red, but it tasted terrific.  The plums were tart against the chocolate, giving a perfect yin and yang effect.

To make this cake, you will need:

180g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 plums, halved and stoned (I used 3 large ones)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups White Wings gluten free plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup almond meal

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and spray a 22cm springform pan with spray oil and line it (base and sides) with baking paper.

Melt 20g of the butter, and paint it onto the base of the lined pan with a pastry brush. Scatter the brown sugar evenly over the base of the pan, and place the plum halves, cut side down, on top of the sugar, leaving a 1cm border from the sides of the pan (to avoid sticking).

In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, vanilla and 160g butter until light in colour and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one.

Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Beat into the cake batter in two batches until just combined.  Spoon the cake batter evenly over the plums in the pan, and smooth out the surface with a metal spatula.  Tap the pan on the bench to remove any air pockets.

Place the springform pan on a cookie tray, then bake the cake on the tray in the oven for 65 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove the  cake form the oven and allow it to cool in the oven for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate.    Serve it warm with vanilla icecream - delish!