Tosca Plum Cake

September 28, 2023

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We are still a few months away from the summer fruit season. However, as we enter the hunger gap of spring where the winter stores are running low and leafy greens are the mainstay, I find myself fossicking around in the pantry for the remaining jars of summer preserves. 

Last season was a bumper plum season here so I still have quite a few jars of plum preserves and jam. The challenge each year is to see how long I can make the preserves last. The slow-roasted tomato passata, as always, ran out mid-winter. I never seem to make enough. But this year we are still rich in plum preserves, in particular my all-time favourite, Slow-Roasted Plum Jam. In the recipe I share below, I add the jam to a Swedish-inspired tosca cake, which almost gives it a Bakewell tart vibe. 

I shared this cake recipe recently in my regular Your Weekend food column (Stuff publications). While I was testing the recipe and getting feedback from my family (as I always do, often from friends too) my husband declared the cake in the top 10 sweet recipes I have presented to him. Considering I have written around 1,000 recipes over the last 18 years (actually, probably more), that is a big call. Of course, he will be somewhat biased as plum cake is his favourite cake 😉 I have also heard from a number of people who spotted the recipe in YW and made the cake with much enjoyment. Scroll down for the recipe, but first, in case you missed the latest news…

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Homegrown Kitchen 2024 Recipe Calendar – Coming Soon!

My popular recipe calendar is back! I was unable to produce a calendar for 2023 due to my cookbook, The Homemade Table, being released late last year. After many requests, I can confirm my 7th recipe calendar will be available in mid-October. As usual, this is a self-published (and funded) project and printed locally in Whakatū Nelson.

If you are interested in a copy (or a few) please register interest to be notified when they are available. This is helpful so I can gauge print numbers (I will also have wholesale copies available for stores, please contact me for details). Then keep an eye out as pre-orders will be available soon with a gift from my garden for the first orders.

More details and register interest here. 

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Tosca Plum Cake

This wonderful Swedish-inspired cake involves a two-step bake. It begins with a cake base then halfway through cooking is topped with a crunchy almond topping - the signature of a tosca cake. Although not at all traditional, here I swirl plum jam through the batter to add an almost bakewell tart element to the cake. Other fruit jams or conserves could be used here. I have also added a little spice as it goes well with the plum. If using a delicate-flavoured fruit jam such as strawberry or apricot simply skip the spice. 
Servings 10
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100 g butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 ¼ cups (190g) plain or gluten-free flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5-6 tbsp plum jam or another fruit jam

Tosca topping

  • 50 g butter
  • ¼ cup (50g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) cream
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • pinch of salt
  • cup (70g) sliced almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C). Line and grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat, add the milk, and set aside to cool.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl, briefly whisking to aerate and remove lumps.
  • Using a stand mixer or handheld beater, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until thick and pale, about 4-5 minutes.
  • If using a mixer, remove the bowl from the stand. Add half of the melted butter and half of the flour and use a spatula to lightly fold them together. Add the remaining butter and flour, gently folding to just combine - don’t over mix. Scoop into the prepared tin.
  • Evenly dollop over the jam and swirl it lightly through the batter. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the tosca topping. Place the butter, sugar, cream, flour, and salt into a saucepan (can re-use the butter pan from above). Mix over a moderate heat until combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the sliced almonds.
  • Remove the cake from the oven after 20 minutes. Spoon over the tosca topping and spread it to evenly cover the surface of the cake. Return the cake to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes until the topping is golden. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Serve slices of cake with yoghurt or cream.
  • This cake keeps well for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in a cool pantry.

Notes

*Recipe written for and first published on Stuff.co.nz.

Join the Conversation

  1. Hanna Frederick says:

    Hi Nicola, I will try this cake. I am an addict plum lover. Do you think I could add a freshly prebaked plum layer between the base and top? One of your pictures of baked plum (jam) confused or rather inspired me. I would not add much sweetener to the baked jam, as plum has enough fructose for me. Thanks

    1. Hi Hanna, the roasted plums is a picture of the plum jam I use (image from summer). I think you could use a cooked plum layer no worries, just make sure it isn’t too watery, a thicker compote would be best or it could make the cake soggy. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Nicola, do you think this would work with the milk & cream substituted for non-dairy alternatives? Thank you ????

    1. Hi Karen, I think it would be fine. I haven’t tried myself but as they aren’t used in large quantities in the recipe I don’t think it would make a big difference to the cake. Hope that helps, and enjoy 🙂

  3. Made this last weekend with some stewed tamarillo stirred through. Made sure it wasn’t too juicy. Such a brilliant, flexible recipe!

    1. Great idea, I also heard from someone who had used feijoas cooked down and it was very good. Going to try it in feijoa season.
      Enjoy!

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