plum and ginger upside down cake

I've not been lucky enough to dine at Fred's in Paddington but I do like head chef Danielle Alvarez's style of cooking. I borrowed her cookbook 'Always add Lemon' from my local library and I bookmarked a few recipes. This cake was the second recipe I made from the book.
Danielle's recipe was for a pineapple and ginger upside down cake but with plums still in the fruit shop, I decided to make a plum version. I played around with the proportions to make an 8 inch cake and also played around with the topping. Danielle's recipe calls for you to cook the butter and brown sugar to make a caramel but my caramel seized. I decided to go the easy route and one I've used before, where you just melt the butter before topping it with the brown sugar.

Once I'd overcome that hurdle the cake was pretty easy to put together. Next time I'd probably forgo separating the eggs. The cake has lots of rising agents and I'm not convinced separating the whites then folding in the beaten whites added anything to the finished cake except lots more washing up!  

Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch cake. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Plum and ginger upside-down cake, adapted from a Danielle Alvarez recipe
175 g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
15 g grated fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
165 g plain flour
Pinch salt
1¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100 ml full-cream milk
Ice cream, cream or yoghurt to serve 
20 g butter
¼ cup brown sugar
4-6 plums, halved, pitted and then quartered
Grease and flour a 20cm round cake tin then line the base of with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan then pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and use a knife or spoon to evenly distribute the brown sugar over the base of the pan. Arrange the plum slices on top of this caramel in any pattern you like. Try to cover as much surface area as possible so you can have a lot of fruit in each slice. 
Cream together the butter, sugar, ginger and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks and mix until well incorporated. 
Sift the dry ingredients into a small bowl. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter and gently mix and then with the machine still running, add all the milk and mix to combine. Carefully add the remaining dry ingredients and finish mixing with a spatula. 
In a clean dry bowl whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. Pour the batter on top of the plums in the tin and spread out evenly. Gently tap the tin on your work bench to ensure the cake batter has dropped into place. 
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out. To turn the cake out, place a flat plate on top of the tin, then holding the plate in place with your hand, flip the cake over quickly and carefully. Once inverted, simply pull the tin off and peel back the baking paper.
Serve warm or when completely cold with cream, ice cream or natural yoghurt.
I thought I'd bought red fleshed plums so I was a bit surprised when I turned the cake out to find they weren't red at all. It made no difference to the cake though which was absolutely delicious. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now,


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