After such a wonderful week celebrating the full launch of the magazine. What better way is there to celebrate on a Friday than baking a cake? Well, I will tell you... Baking a cake flavoured with alcohol! Oh, this cake is definitely something else I'll tell you. The basic recipe is that of a Victoria sponge, however as an Amaretto fan, I decided to give it a bit of an almond twist. Plus I had a fair few plums going begging so of course to save on waste I included them. To top it off (literally) it also has an amazing caramelised plum and almond nut topping.
To be honest this flavour combo could have gone terribly wrong and up until the end I still was unsure if it would be too sweet and sickly with the almonds and the Amaretto, but luckily it came together beautifully. Don't you just love it when that happens?
To make the cake mixture:
500g of flour
350g of granulated sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of bicarbonate soda
A pinch of salt
400ml of almond milk
150ml of olive oil
2 tbsp of almond essence
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
To make the cream:
300g of icing sugar
150g of vegan butter
1 tbsp of Amaretto
1 tsp of almond essence
To make the plum jam:
250g of plums (about 8 small plums)
250g of demerara sugar
The juice of half a lemon
1 tsp of mixed spice (cinnamon, ginger, clove, fennel and nutmeg)
To make the caramelised plum and almond topping:
About 4 plums
A handful of crushed almonds (I crushed them myself to give that rustic vibe)
4 tbsp of Amaretto
The juice of a quarter lemon
To begin, get your jam going first. Cut up the plums into small chunks and throw them into the pan along with the sugar, lemon juice and Amaretto. Stir together and then leave on a low heat for about one hour, stirring now and then.
Next it's time to make your sponge cake. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and all the wet ingredients in another. Mix both together well and then combine. Mix again until you get a smooth batter.
Add parchment paper/ butter to an 8 inch cake tin then pour in the batter. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes (times can differ depending on your make and model.) Once done, check by poking with a toothpick in the middle that it is cooked inside. If it comes out clean then turn off the oven and leave it to cool down in there with the door open.
Now it's time to make your cream. Combine your butter, almond essence and amaretto in a bowl and whisk together. Slowly add your icing sugar until it is all combined and a smooth buttercream is formed.
Whilst we are still waiting for everything to cool, let's get making the caramelised topping. This is similar to the jam, except this time leave the plum cut into nice big chunks. Add all the ingredients to a pan on a medium heat and cook until the alcohol is evaporated and everything is caramelised and just yum.
Now, in order to put this cake together everything needs to be fully cooled. I left everything overnight to make sure (the cake, jam and topping were left covered, at room temperature and butter was put in the fridge.)
Once ready, add a dab of buttercream to the centre of a plate. Put your cake on top (this is to keep it in place.) Cut an excess sponge off the top of your cake and slice through the middle as neatly as possible. Place the top half to one side then add your buttercream and jam to the centre, see pictures above. Carefully place your top half back on and add the remaining buttercream to the centre.
Grab your topping and take your time placing it on top of the cake. Make sure to spread the nuts and plums out evenly and there aren't too many clusters in one spot. I started with from the centre with the plums and worked my way out. Add a dusting of icing sugar and eat straight away. Alternatively put in the fridge to wait and then remove one hour before eating so the jam and topping aren't too tough.