Autumn Colours and a Great Cake

We have quite a few deciduous plants in our garden now and are enjoying some splendid Autumn colours. The star is the ornamental grape that grows on a terrace outside my kitchen window. It is breathtaking. Makes washing up a real pleasure.

The entire view from that window is quite special at the moment. There are two little pineapple sage plants that have grown well and are flowering profusely. I like the contrast of the red flowers against the shiny foliage of the Lime tree.
The Citrus trees are loaded with fruit and these oranges are ripening very quickly now. they are usually ready to eat about mid May.
The other day I needed a cake to take to a party and thought I would try something a little bit different. I also wanted to test the fruit I have bottled. I found this recipe for a Plum Cake in my Stephanie Alexander book. It sounded good so I gave it a try. I used a bottle of plums that had start Anise in them. The flavour was intense and wonderful. I ended up in a bit of a hurry making the  cake and didn't read the recipe correctly so found i had not put the almonds in at the right time. In fact the cake was already in the oven. After watching all the antics of the cooks on Master Chef et al, I have realised that most food is a bit more resilient than i had previously thought, so, i whipped the cake back out of the oven and spread the Almonds on top. It all worked quite well. I meant to take a picture, but, no cake was left. I'll make it again and follow the recipe to see what difference it makes.

Plum Cake

250 g butter
250 g sugar
200 g plain flour
200 g self rasisng flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100 ml milk
1 cup ground almonds
20 ripe blood plums halved (I used my bottled plums)
125 g butter
200 g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a 28 cm springform pan. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, mix in flour. Add eggs and milk to make a batter.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan,  sprinkle over the almonds then arrange the plums.
to make the topping , melt the butter and stir in the sugar, when this is cool beat in the eggs, which have been whisked well, and   the add the cinnamon. Spoon this over the batter and cook for about an hour. Serve warm with cream.


The Autumn vines are lovely. Very few vines fade like that which is a shame. The recipe looks totally decadent - will have to try it!

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