Plum Toffee Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake
From David Lebovitz
FOR THE TOPPING
5 medium red plums
1 cup (85g) sliced almonds
2 tbs flour
1/3 cup (60g) packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (or nutmeg)
2 tbs melted butter, salted or unsalted
FOR THE CAKE
8 tbs (4 ounces, 115g) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (175g) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cardamom (or nutmeg)
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk*
FOR THE TOFFEE GLAZE
2 tbs butter
3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
*You can substitute buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to 1/2 cup of whole milk. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then use just like buttermilk.
MAKE THE TOPPING
In a small bowl, mix together sliced almonds, 2 tbs flour, light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom (or nutmeg), and melted butter. Set aside.
Halve and cut each plum into eight slices.
MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) springform cake pan (I used a tube pan with a removeable bottom).
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, and salt.
Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla. Stir in half of the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined. Then add the buttermilk and beat until just combined. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, beating just until combined. Do not overmix.
Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the plums on top of the batter in an even layer. Spread the almond topping over the plums.
Bake until the center just feels set, about 55 minutes to one hour. (A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.) If the top is browning too fast, cover top of cake with aluminum foil and finish baking. Let the cake cool completely then remove the sides of the springform pan.
MAKE THE TOFFEE GLAZE
In a small saucepan, mix the butter, dark brown sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring gently. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drizzle the toffee over the cake.
Serve cake at room temperature. It can be served on its own, or with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.