Her eyes sparkled when she spotted Dorie's big baking book. "Have you made anything from it yet?" she asked picking it up from the shelf. After a few minutes flipping the pages she exclaimed :"Oh wait! I guess you have, some pages are already glued with sugar!"
Having my god-daughter Sophie over is a lot of fun. She marvels at everything The simplest thing that in my new American have become second nature to me are constant sources of surprises and questions....even baking. She has a keen interest in cooking and baking and is eager to tell me about the cakes she makes in the evening while the rest of the family gathers around and talk. I can tell we share the same blood just by the moments she shares in the kitchen with her mom and other relatives, and by her love of sweets!
She was leafing through the book and her hand stopped on the picture of Dorie's Dimply Plum Cake. "Oh that looks so good...I need aspirin, let's go get some plums and make it!"....AND she's got my logic....any excuse to make a trip to the store if I see something I want to bake! Off we went to the grocery store which was another adventure for her: in France cashiers are seated, there is no bagger and people have to bring their own bags (recycling and minimizing trash).
We looked at all the produce that was somewhat tropical and exotic for her, filled up on loads of cherries (we are truly related!), and a big bag of ripe and juicy plums.
Once home we put some lasagna to warm up and in the meantime we made the cake. Easy, straighforward and within 30 minutes, the house smelled like a bakery again with vanilla and sugar tempting our tastebuds. We could not wait very long once it came out of oven and cut 2 big slices, put some creme fraiche on the side and enjoyed it while looking at the sunset...precious! If I could have hugged Dorie herself for such a sweet moment spent with Sophie, it would have been the icing on the cake!
Dimply Plum Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan:
1 1/2 cups all purpose four
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
5 Tb unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
grated zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums, halved and pitted
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger.
In a stand mixer cream the butter with the borwn sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture.
Pour the batter in the prepared dish, smooth the top and arrang the plums on top. (Dorie did hers cut side up, I did the opposite). Bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes (if you can).