Did you think all the traveling had scrambled my brain, and I forgot what the cake-of-the-week was for the Heavenly Cakes bakealong? No, no, my post on the Marionberry Shortcake will come along tomorrow. However, travel = stress for me, and cooking = stress relief. I got back from Albuquerque Friday and leave for Ohio on Tuesday--it was a two-cake weekend, in other words.
My baking of the Plum Round Ingots, baked by Marie in July 2009, just fell into place. I had extra plums in the fridge after the search for greengage plums (I found green ones if not greengage, so these purple plums weren't needed for the Plum and Blueberry Upside-Down Torte). This week's recipe needed browned butter, and it's easy to make enough for 2 recipes or more. I toasted the almonds after the shortcakes came out of the oven. And I had egg whites in the freezer from some other cake recipe that only needed yolks. To top it off, the batter is mixed up in the food processor--this almost qualifies for the easy list.
The Plum Ingots are financiers, buttery little cakes with ground almonds in the batter. For this version, toasted sliced almonds, powdered sugar, cake flour, and a little salt are thrown in the food processor and zapped until the almonds are ground. In go some egg whites to be pulsed into the mix, then the hot browned butter is slowly added while pulsing some more. Add in a little vanilla, then the batter is ready to rest in the fridge overnight.
After the resting period, the batter is portioned out into tartlet pans. The recipe calls for 3-7/8" pans, but I only have 3 of that size, not the 6 needed. I do have 6 slightly smaller pans, so I made one 3-7/8" cake and 6 smaller ones. Then came the artistic part, handled almost completely by my younger niece. I sliced plums into thin slices, and she arranged the slices in the batter in a rose-petal pattern. The cakelets bake and the batter puffs around the plum slices, making a very pretty effect.
Taste testing: all very positive from everyone but older niece, who saved hers for later. The almond flavor nicely complements the plums, and the texture of the cake is lovely with the little bit of chew from the ground almonds. No complaints about "too sweet" or "too dry", either! We might make this one again in even smaller tartlet pans, getting them down to 2-bite size or so. They'd make a very pretty dessert for a summer party.