The plum cake is often made during Christmas or festive occasions. It contains semolina and the batter is soaked overnight. Soaking makes the semolina tender which gives the cake a lovely soft and moist rather than grainy texture. Whipping the egg whites makes sure the cake is light and fluffy.
This has got to be one of my favorite cakes growing up. Mom made it for all our birthdays. In fact, I remember to celebrate our birthday's mom would distribute a plate with a few things such as a slice of this cake, boiled chickpeas, potato chips, chocolate, and candy to all the neighboring houses.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Semolina - Semolina is a great way to add stability to cakes that have fruit and nuts and this one soaks up moisture keep the cake moist and with a tender crumb
- Butter - butter adds flavor and richness but also stability to the cake which holds the slices nicely.
- Plums - these are easily available in any dry fruit stores. But, you can also use raisins, currant or other dried fruits.
- Nuts - I am using cashews but almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamica are absolutely delicious as well.
- Spices - You can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or a dash of garam masala. In fact in fall, I like the addtion of pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice or chai spice.
Bakers schedule for this cake
This cake is not like the standard cakes so here is the process at a glance
- Cream butter and sugar, along with egg yolks and flavorings
- Add the semolina and leave to rest for 6 to 8 hours at room temperatute
- Then, add the remaining ingredients along with whipped egg whites
- Bake and cool as usual
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- 8-inch round baking pan
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Baking tray
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter
- 1 cup (200 g) Sugar fine or castor
- 1 cup (125 g) All-purpose flour maida
- ½ cup (85 g) Semolina Sujee
- 5 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ¾ cup (120 g) Plums dried - roughly chopped
- 1 cup (150 g) Mixed peel preserved - chopped fine
- 1 cup (125 g) Cashew nuts finely chopped or grated
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Almond extract
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder dalchini
- ¼ tsp Cardamom powder elichi
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg grated (jailfal)
- Separate eggs - make sure there are no yolks in the white. If you have any yolk in the whites it will not whip. Pro tip -It's ok to add the egg white to the yolk but not the yolk to the white
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time followed by the vanilla and almond extract.
- Next, add the semolina (rawa) and combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it aside at room temperature for 6 hours up to overnight but no more than 8 hours. Pro tip - the sugar and butter work as a preservative so it is ok to leave it at room temperature.
- 10 minutes before baking preheat the oven at 165°C/ 325°F / Gas Mark 3
- Grease and line a deep 3 inch deep, 8-inch round or 7-inch square pan with parchment paper - Set aside
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Then add the flour mixture to the cake batter. Set aside.
- In a clean grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until almost stiff peaks. Then, carefully fold the whipped eggs into the cake batter. Pro tip- egg whites will whip well if they are room temperature or warm, not cold.
- Finally, add the mixed fruits, plums, and nuts in two batches - do not over mix Pro tip - do not overmix otherwise all the fruits will sink and we will lose the volume created by the egg whites.
- Level the top of the cake with a spatula. Sprinkle more chopped cashew nuts on the top of the cake if desired.
- Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center comes clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely Pro tip- inverting on a cooling rack will prevent the cake from getting soggy on the bottom.
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