10th March, 2020
Plums abound these last few weeks. I am picking omega plums from the garden, and the market stalls are boasting many varieties, from dark-hued black doris to the glorious rouge-kissed luisa. Once they reach that optimum ripeness it is difficult to go past a fresh plum, eaten with juices running down the chin.
I used poppy seeds collected from my garden in this cake. I have only grown poppies a number of times, and this year planted several dozen seedlings including some fabulous peony poppies. Now the pods have dried I have brought them inside and will save the seeds to sow along with my broad beans next spring. (And as you can see in the image above the dahlias and cosmos have also been vibrant in the garden this year).
Plum, Polenta & Poppy Seed Cake
The addition of quick-cook polenta gives this cake a soft texture to compliment the poppyseeds. Polenta absorbs a lot of water (about four times its weight), so a small amount goes a long way. This cake can also be made with other firm-fleshed stone fruit, as well as apples or pears later in the season with some warming spice such as cardamom or cinnamon.
- ½ cup 125ml olive oil
- ⅓ cup 70g sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup 125ml yoghurt
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 cup 140g standard white flour or gluten-free flour
- ¼ cup 50g fine polenta (quick cook)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 5-6 firm-fleshed plums - such as black doris or omega plums, cut into 2cm chunks (about 1 heaped cup)
- 1 tbsp extra sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line and grease a 22cm round cake tin.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, yoghurt and poppy seeds, and combine. Sift over the flour, polenta and baking powder, and use a spatula to gently fold together until half mixed.
Toss the plums with the extra tablespoon of sugar (this is optional), add to the batter and mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cake rack to cool. Serve with natural yoghurt.
*Recipe first published 26th February 2020 on Stuff.co.nz.