Summer is undeniably over and so is the plum season. We still get quite a lot of sunshine here in Slovakia, but the temperatures have dropped and there’s this autumnal nip in the air that makes my gait brisker and my mind more agile.
I’ve already bottled some of this year’s crop of plums that my friend sent me, so the last batch of the luscious fruit will meet a different fate. I’ve just remembered two ancient tins I bought years ago for Metrový koláč (or Long Cake), dusted them off and am ready to experiment.
My baking tin size is 30 x 10 x 5 cm each, they’re identical and quite specific, but don’t despair. They can be replaced by two traditional 2lb loaf tins (900g), if you want to join in the fun.
And if you can’t get hold of plums, feel free to use any seasonal fruit (preferably soft and juicy) for a nice, squidgy sponge and a lush, creamy sauce.
Sunday Plum Sponge Delight
For the sponge:
- 4 eggs
- 200 g castor sugar
- 200 g flour
- 100 ml warm water
- 100 ml oil
- a packet of baking powder (13 g)
- 400 g fresh plums
- oil or margarine for greasing
- flour for dusting the tins
For the sauce:
- 500 g fresh plums
- 100 ml water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- a piece of cinnamon stick (about 5 cm)
- 200 ml cooking cream (12% fat in Slovakia)
- a pinch of salt
- Grease the insides of the baking tins with oil or margarine. Dust with a thin layer of flour. Wash, halve and stone the plums. Don’t forget to put 500 g of them aside for the sauce.
- Separate the egg whites into a mixer. Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and beat them with the sugar until the mixture is light and airy. Slowly add the water, the oil and the sifted flour mixed with the baking powder.
- Whisk the egg whites in the mixer until they form soft peaks. This is what we call ‘snow’ in Slovakia. Spoon by spoon, fold the ‘egg snow’ into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the two cake tins and level off with a spatula. Immerse the plums in the batter and put both cake tins in the oven. Bake at 180°C for about 40 minutes or until the cakes turn golden brown.
- Let the cakes cool down on a wooden board. After 10 minutes, gently ease the sides of the cake from the tin with a butter knife. Turn upside down and tap on the back of the tin to slowly release the cake onto the board. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, put the the other part of the plums in a saucepan. Pour in the water, add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Throw in the cinnamon stick and stir well. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Put aside and let cool a little, then remove the cinnamon stick.
- Slice the cake and place on a dessert plate. Pour the warm plum sauce on top and serve immediately.