A plum streusel cake and a lot of rain.

‘And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If this rain doesn’t stop.”‘

As I sat with the rain drumming on the roof, gutters over-flowing and big fat drops splattering the windows, this John O’Brien poem kept running loops in my head. We had nearly 5 inches of rain yesterday (6 the day before), and it’s ironic really, given that not much more than a week ago we were on bush-fire alert and water-restrictions. But, I know which I’d prefer.

Pelting rain also happens to be perfect baking weather, and as there’s not much more comforting than baking to the soundtrack of rain, I’m really not complaining.

When I was an exchange student in Germany, my lovely host-mum used to go to the local bakery almost everyday and bring back cakes and pastries for afternoon tea. My favourite was always the streuselkuchen – a yeasted dough topped with a sweet crumb topping. Sometimes it had fruit between the dough and crumb, but often just plain. Either way, it was frighteningly easy to eat, and the main reason, I’m sure, I managed to put on 5 kg in 4 months.

Plum Streusel Cake

(serves 8-10)

A somewhat simplified version of streuselkuchen, this plum crumble cake uses a simple melt and mix almond cake base and slices of plum under the crumb topping. Best served warm, with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

Ingredients

Crumble topping:
60g butter
60g caster sugar
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

Cake:
125g butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
150g almond meal
100g caster sugar
50g brown sugar

4 large plums, cut into quarters

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan-forced and grease and line a 22cm round springform tin with baking paper.
  2. Place crumble topping ingredients into a small mixing bowl and use your fingertips to work butter through the sugar and flour until mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  3. Place melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, before stirring in salt, almond meal, caster sugar and brown sugar.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter and egg mixture, stirring gently to just combine. Scoop batter into lined baking tin and smooth the surface before topping with plum quarters.
  6. Sprinkle with crumble topping and bake in pre-heated oven for 55-60 minutes or until cake is cooked through and crumble topping is starting to colour.

Serve cake warm with ice-cream or cream (or both!).

{Streusel cake will keep happily in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, just warm slightly before serving.}