Plum Cake with Hazelnut Brittle and Honey Mascarpone
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
- SERVINGS: 10
Peter Hoffman likes using purple plums, a.k.a. Italian prune plums, for this lightly spiced cake because they bake so well; the flavors intensify, but the plums don't become mushy. The garnishes are what make this cake so unforgettable: light and luscious, honey-spiked mascarpone cream and a sprinkling of chopped nut brittle.
- 2 pounds plums—halved, pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces)
- Hazelnut Brittle
- Preheat the oven to 325°; butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. In a bowl, toss the plums with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the lemon juice.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Add the butter and process until finely chopped. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until incorporated. With the processor on, gradually add the milk in a thin stream and process until the batter is smooth. Add the batter to the plums, gently folding them in.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet and smooth the surface. Bake the cake for about 1 hour, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream with the honey at medium-high speed until softly whipped. Beat in the mascarpone at medium-low speed.
- In a food processor, pulse the Hazelnut Brittle until coarsely chopped.
- Cut the cake into wedges and transfer to plates. Spoon a dollop of the honey mascarpone on top, sprinkle with the chopped nut brittle and serve.
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