Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plum Upside-Down Cake

I've never made an upside-down cake before, so this recipe was totally on a whim. I had actually planned on baking a Bundt cake this afternoon, but here, last-minute, is my very first attempt at the upside-down variety.

Pit 6 red plums (about one pound total), by slicing a line through the center, twisting the two halves apart, and carefully removing the pit. Quarter each plum. Heat two teaspoons of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the plums; cook for 3 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup raw sugar, 1/4 tsp. cardamom and a dash of salt. Cook for ten minutes until the plums are nice and tender.

Remove the plums (a slotted spoon is best so that you don't remove the cooking liquid which will have formed from the sugar and plum juices) and set side. Increase the heat so the cooking liquid boils, and then cook for 5 minutes until it reduces to the consistency of jam - be careful not to burn the mixture though. While the liquid cooks down, arrange the plums in an even layer on the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan coated with cooking spray. Pour the reduced cooking liquid over the plums, and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife), 1 1/2 tsps. baking powder, and a 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup more vegan butter (softened) with 3/4 cup more raw sugar. Beat until light and creamy. Add the equivalent of two vegan eggs using egg replacer (such as Ener-G), beating well. Now alternate between adding the flour mixture and 3/4 cup vegan buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture, and beating well in between each addition.

For vegan buttermilk, pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a measuring cup. Add enough plain soy milk (such as Silk) to equal one cup. Let stand for five minutes to clabber (sour) it, and use the 3/4 cup called for above. Discard the left-over 1/4 cup.

Finally, beat in a tablespoon of amaretto (such as Disaronno, which, happily is "vegan friendly" according to the company).

Pour the cake batter over the plums, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for ten minutes before running a knife around the edges of the cake pan. Place a large plate over the pan, and invert the cake onto the plate - voila! Now it's right-side up. Cool completely on the plate. Cut into 8 wedges (330 calories each).

plums $4.37
plain soy milk $1.69

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance