Honey Walnut Plum Cake

Honey Walnut Plum Cake
This cake needs no icing, although I sometimes drizzle a thread of warmed honey over each slice before serving. I also like to serve it with a dollop of honey-sweetened whipped cream, Greek yogurt or luxurious mascarpone. To truly gild the lily, add a few honey-coated walnut halves or honey-candied orange zest. Besides lending a wonderful flavor to this appealing cake, honey increases its keeping properties. Well-wrapped and unrefrigerated, this cake keeps for several days. Makes one 9-inch cake
Serves: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces (about 1⅓ cups) walnut pieces, lightly toasted
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup honey, preferably a floral or citrus variety
  • ¼ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated tangerine zest
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons brandy, preferably Armagnac or Cognac (or ½ teaspoon vanilla)
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) dried plums (prunes), chopped into ¼-inch bits
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set a rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, add about half the flour mixture (this prevents the nuts from becoming oily), and grind the nuts until powdery. Add the remaining flour, and whir to combine.
  4. In a mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, honey and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the tangerine zest, and mix to combine. One by one, add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. Add the brandy. Add the dry ingredients, mixing gently until incorporated. Stir in the plums. Spread the batter into the cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edge, turn it out and let it cool, right side up, on a cake rack.


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