Thursday, September 24, 2009

German Plum Cakes, Hedgehogs, & More!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last blogged!  Twenty days!  My goodness!  And it's not because there hasn't been anything going on.  I'm not sure why I haven't written!  But this post should catch me up, because I have a few things I'd like to share!

First off, Don & I were given some fresh plums last Saturday from a German girl we know who lives in our neighborhood!  Her family has a plum tree in their backyard, which is pretty common here, & they must have had more than they needed, because they gave us two bags full!  Lydia told me that her Mom makes a plum cake, so I decided that I should do that too!  I came home & went right to my German cookbooks!  There, I found at least two different recipes, both of which called for rolling out the dough...I wasn't much in the mood for that.  So, I went to the internet & found one that would take less time.  I know, I was being lazy :)  But it turned out to be absolutely delicious, & very pretty too!  It's made in a tart pan, so it isn't what you'd think a cake to be.  But mmm!  Here is the recipe!
*Cardamom Scented Plum Cake*
Makes 1 ten inch cake

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1/3 cup golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBS sour cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into wedges

    For the topping:
  • 6 TBS butter
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardomom
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F. Lightly butter a 9 to 10 inch cake tin with a removable bottom and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla, sour cream and salt. Whisk the flour, baking powder together and then add it to the creamed mixture, mixing it in well. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Liberally spread the plums over top of the batter. I like to arrange them in a circular pattern, but that's just me, it's not necessary.

To make the topping whisk together the sugar, flour and spices. Rub in the butter until it is crumbly. Sprinkle it evenly over the plums.

Bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle rack for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, until the topping is nicely browned and the cake tests done. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes, cooling on a wire rack, before removing the sides of the pan. Serve warm, cut into wedges with scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Mmm, it is so yummy!  Not too sweet, but just right!  It would be delicious for breakfast, warmed up!  Especially now, in the Fall!  Oh, & I didn't have any cardomom, so I just added Pumpkin Pie Spice in its place.  The whole house smell heavenly while it was baking!  Let me know if you decide to try it!  I definitely recommend it :)  And I'm not positive, but I bet this would be yummy with fruits other than plums, too!  Apples, cherries.....  Might have to try that!


Next on my list of fun things to share, guess what Layla found in our backyard last night?!  A hedgehog!!  It was so cuuute!  I put Layla out in the yard & noticed that all she was doing was sniffing around...for longer than usual!  So I opened the door to have a look for myself.  As I did, Layla was creeping up on something near the fence, & then she'd quickly back away a give a little bark!  I walked over to where she was standing, & there it was!  I called Don to come look, & before long, we had a flashlight & a camera, getting a better view & taking pictures!  The little hedgehog was so so cute!  Maybe he will come back to sleep in our yard again :)


In other news, Don & I are going to Oktoberfest this weekend in Munich!  It's going to be craaazy, I have a feeling!  There are beer tents there that hold 10,000 people!  Ah!  It will be fun!  We are going to be there all day Saturday, & I'm sure I'll come back with some fun pictures!  We're settling in here in Germany pretty nicely, don't you think?!!  :)  Danke!

Well, I think that is it!  We are doing great here & everything is wonderful!  Our house is still cozy, Layla is still a sweetie, Don still likes his job, & we are still so very happy & blessed!  All is great!

Love to you all!  And tschüss!  (My favorite way of saying "Bye!" in German!    But you have to say it very chipper & cheery!)