September 23, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Dimply Plum Cake

I know, I know...I haven't done too many Tuesdays with Dorie recipes lately. It was, quite frankly, cookie overload there for a few weeks. I was excited to see that this week's recipe, chosen by Michelle of Bake-en, was for Dimply Plum Cake.

Basically, this recipes involves making a cardamom/orange zest/brown sugar batter that's poured into a square pan then topped with pitted plum halves.

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As it bakes, the cake puffs up around the plums. The fruit caramelizes and turns jammy. It sounds and looks quite delicious.

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The recipe calls for baking the 8-inch square cake at 350 for 40 minutes. At 40 min, my cake was still "wet" in the middle, so I let it bake 10 more minutes. The top was very brown, almost too brown, but the middle still seemed too wet. Nevertheless, I took the cake out of the oven.

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I wondered what went wrong...were the plums too juicy? Was my oven temperature off (yes, I do have a thermometer in there!)? Should I have used the recommended cookie sheet under the pan?

Most of Dorie's cake recipes call for baking the pans on cookie sheets. I've never done this. I posted a question on the TWD website about the purpose of the sheets. One person suggested that the cookie sheets help cakes bake evening. Someone else said that the sheets are simply to help move the pan around. Anne, the owner of Kitchen Conservatory, also said the cookies sheets are for ease in getting the cakes in & out of the oven. She said it doesn't assure even baking.

Even though the cake didn't turn out perfectly, it still tasted good! I am looking forward to trying this recipe again, next time with one of Dorie's "playing around" suggestions...like peaches with lemon & basil or cherries with lime.

8 comments:

Lori said...

we had the same problem - nearly overdone and also underdone cake. i think it's the technique of this recipe rather than the juiciness of your plums.

vibi said...

Oops! Don't worry, apparently you're not the only one... the weird thing though is that most had either or... rawness or driness (and even if my plums were pretty juicy, I got a dry cake)
Still... great pictures!!!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I baked my cake in an 8 inch round and it was a little dry. But, I used nectarines instead of plums. It must have something to do with the juiciness of the fruit. I think yours still looks great!

Tracey said...

I also baked my cake longer than the recommended 40 minutes. The top got more brown than I would have liked but I wanted to avoid the wet middle. Your cake still looks wonderful!

Engineer Baker said...

As long as it tastes good, it sounds like lots of people had some unintended gooey-ness, so you're in good company!

Christine said...

I had to keep my cake in longer then expected but if it is still tasty then you did a great job!

AmyRuth said...

You know what? Mine did the same thing. I read someone elses comment that theirs was dry, made a mental note not to "overbake." Even with a fairly brown crusty corner the middle was wet ...who knew. Flavor was fab so I will definitely try again. Love cardamon with fruit.
AmyRuth

jana said...

i read all the comments and the problem with the cake before i tried to bake it. i thought i would tweek it a bit, so,,i put some melted butter and a little brn. sugar in the pan, then the plums,then put the batter over it. baked it for the 40 min. then when it was done i waited for 10 min. and flipped it over so the fruit was on the top. beautiful! it was so good.