I have never understood the thinking behind the saying “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. It assumes that lemons are an unpleasant occurence when I actually think they are rather lovely. I certainly would not be upset if someone were to pop a few through my door.
Instead, I had a basket of Victoria plums presented to me by the English Plums campaign as we are now entering the home-grown season. So, sort of following the advice of the anti-lemon brigade, I made upside down plum cake.
The cake is actually a straight-forward sponge mix that most bakers have to hand but I’ve popped the recipe I used below for ease. I found that it did not make for as much mix as I needed, so I doubled up the amounts but I’ll leave the original recipe and you can make your own call on it. Normally I try to avoid sugar but as this was for a birthday party I thought I’d push the boat out!
Instead of putting the plums on top of the batter, I laid the fruit on the bottom of the tin and poured the mix over the top. This way, the fruit does not burn and stays nice and moist. Also, you get to give your cake a fancy name.
Sponge cake mix
150g caster sugar
140g plain flour
One teaspoon baking powder
12 plums, pitted and halved
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix flour and baking powder and sift into creamed mixture. Beat in eggs and salt. Mix everything well.
Pour batter into a greased 26cm round springform tin and smooth out. Bake on lowest shelf for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Sprinkle on sugar while warm.