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Plum and ricotta crumble cakes

The beauty of these cakes lies in their adaptability. You can use almonds or pistachios instead of hazelnuts. And if you can't get plums, scatter the cakes with frozen berries or with slivers of apple instead. These little cakes are perfect served warm with a pot of tea.

You'll need

90 gm softened butter 225 gm raw caster sugar ½ an orange, finely grated rind only 2 eggs 50 ml milk 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour 80 gm hazelnut meal 1 tsp baking powder 350 gm ricotta 1 egg yolk 2 blood plums, thinly sliced 20 gm hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Beat 80gm butter, 165gm sugar and orange rind in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (3-4 minutes), then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl, add milk and beat to combine. Stir in flour, hazelnut meal and baking powder, then spoon into 12 buttered and floured 165ml-capacity metal moulds. Smooth tops and set aside.
  • 02
  • Process ricotta, egg yolk and 40gm sugar in a food processor until smooth, divide among moulds. Top with plum slices and set aside.
  • 03
  • Combine chopped hazelnuts with remaining butter and sugar in a small bowl, rub together with your fingertips then scatter over plums. Bake until risen and golden and a skewer withdraws clean (25-30 minutes). Cool cakes in moulds for 5 minutes, run a small knife around sides of moulds and carefully remove cakes. Cool on a wire rack. Cakes will keep for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container.

Tips for cupcakes
* Bring all ingredients to room temperature before you start for ease of incorporation. That goes for butter, eggs, milk and other wet ingredients.

* Prepare your moulds by lining with cupcake papers or buttering and flouring before you start.

* Make sure your butter is soft but not melting. Coarsely chop it while it's cold and place in mixing bowl minutes before you start.

* Scrape down sides of your mixing bowl regularly to prevent lumps in the batter.

* Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. If the mixture shows signs of splitting (it'll look grainy), add a tablespoon or two of flour to the mixture and stir to combine before you go any further. A split mixture will result in tough cakes.

* Beat butter and sugar, and eggs, in an electric mixer, but stir in dry ingredients and milk by hand to avoid overworking the mixture.

* Fill moulds to 5mm below tops, unless otherwise specified.

* Bake cakes in centre of oven and turn halfway through cooking time to ensure even baking (except for sponge cakes, where an even oven temperature must be maintained).

* Remove cupcakes baked in paper cases from the moulds and place on a wire rack to cool, to avoid sweating.

* Be patient and let cakes cool before icing or filling.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Apr 2009

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