A punnet of figs proves to be plentiful if one doesn't eat them out of hand. After using some in the fig financiers, I am still left with half a punnet of figs! While I rummage the fridge for dinner ingredients that night, I am surprised to see a few plums hidden underneath the shanghai bokchoy! Perfect, now I can bake something with plums and figs. A google search returns with a recipe of plum and Fig Kuchen on Mary's blog- Alpineberry, which is a recipe from Flo Braker on SF Gate Food Section.
Wanted to save some bucks on electric bill, I bake this together with the fig financiers. The batter is made while the financier batter is resting. In my attempt to multi-task, I totally forget about the walnut, which is part of the kuchen ingredients. I don't realize it until I have arranged the plums and figs on top of the batter. Too late to add the 2/3 cup of chopped walnut, so I simply sprinkle some on the batter.
And then, in my hurry to usher everything into the oven, I skip the cinnamon and ground cloves topping in the original recipe. I wonder what all these mishaps will do to my final cake.
The answer, which is revealed 4 hours later, is the cake will still be delicious. But it will definitely benefit from the crunch of the walnut, and make it tastier; have I not forgotten to layer the chopped walnut between the batter and the fruit topping. A step that I should caution you not to forget/miss!
Insteads of using Italian prune plums as the original recipe suggested, I use the red plums I have on hand. Given the forgiving nature of the recipe, (after all the mistakes I have commited) I think one can easily substitute other kinds of nuts and fruit toppings to make the recipe your own!
Plum and Fig Kuchen
adapted from Flo Braker on SF Gate Food Section
Make the cake a few hours ahead or the night before so that the juice from the fruit have enough time to redistribute in the cake.
2 red plums, pitted and sliced
5 small Black Mission figs (about 5 ounces), stems snipped, and quartered
1 cup unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, about 3 ounces (which I forget to use)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, reserved to sprinkle on the fruits topping
Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round baking pan and insert a round of parchment paper in the bottom; set aside.
For the cake: Sift flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In the bowl of a heavy duty (or use a hand-held) mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium-low speed until creamy smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Scrape butter down the sides into center of bowl. While beating on medium-low speed, pour in granulated sugar in a steady stream followed by brown sugar. Continue beating until well-incorporated and slightly fluffy. Beat in egg, then egg yolks and vanilla. On lowest speed, add flour mixture just until combined. Spread batter evenly in pan, and sprinkle walnuts evenly over batter. (note to self: remember this next time!)
Starting at the perimeter of the pan, arrange the plum wedges, flesh side up, one next to the other in circles around the tart. After using all the wedges of plums, continue the circular pattern where you left off with the fig wedges, repeat placing them flesh side up and fitting them close together. After completing the circles, if any wedges remain, if possible, snugly fit them in where you can.
Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over the fruit.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the portion of cake nearest the sides of the pan is puffy and golden brown and the center is set. A good test to see if it needs to bake longer is to tap or move the pan gently. If the center appears liquid and soft, bake another 5 to 7 minutes. If it is firm and set, then remove it from the oven to a wire rack and set it aside to cool for about 1 hour.
To remove the cake from the pan, run a small flexible spatula slowly around the edge of the pan to release the cake. Cover the cake with a wire rack, invert the cake, lift the pan, then gently peel off and discard the paper liner. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and turn it right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of any leftover portion of the cake and store at room temperature.