Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Wocka Wocka Plumcot Yogurt Cake

It's time for summer cakes! The cakes of summer, much like the boys of summer, aren't that filling but are fruity and they live at your house for a week until you're finally sick of them and then they get chopped up and put in trash bags. So named for the sound of Pacman, the Wocka Wocka Plumcot Yogurt Cake is verrrrryyyy loosely adapted from a plum cake by Nigel Slater. This is my standard summer cake, and it's fantastic, if I do say so myself. I would know, I'm eating it right now. There's just 12 easy steps!

1. Take butter out of fridge so it gets warm. Two "sticks" or one "big stick." This is important!

2. Meanwhile, grind two handfuls of almonds in your coffee grinder or whatever, until it's all powder.

3. Beat about 1 and a ½ of those sticks of butter, once they're not cold, with about a cup of muscovado or brown sugar or light brown sugar or even white sugar, in that order of preference. Or you can mix and match! This is why your butter isn't cold, so it gets all fluffy with the sugar. You can literally beat this forever basically.

4. Beat in three eggs and some vanilla. (Don't beat this too long though.)

5. Take your ground almonds and whisk them in a bowl with a cup of flour and two teaspoons baking powder.

6. Incorporate your wet and dry ingredients!

7. And then add to the whole mess about one container of plain Old Chatham Sheepherding Company yogurt. (You may use other yogurts if you wish, I suppose, but there is no other yogurt for me.)

8. Assess your cake dough! Is it super-runny? Add more flour! Is it super-firm? Add more yogurt!

9. Have someone cut for you between 5 and 15 plumcots. (You can use plums, pluots or apricots! Or other larger stone fruits of the prunus genus! Maybe even cherries, but only if you have a cherry pitter.)

10. Cut them just in half, discarding, duh, the pits. (CAVEAT: if they're particularly tart fruits, it'll be a better eating experience if you cut them in slices actually. It's rough going to stuff half a really tart baked fruit in your mouth. (I know.) So try one; they get tarter often when you cook, so err maybe on the side of smaller?)

11. Pour batter into springform pan, which you have buttered and also set a round slice of parchment paper on the bottom. Set halved plumcots face down all about the top, or slightly embed slices.

12. Put it in a 350° oven. Check after 30 minutes if your oven runs hot. Check after 40 otherwise. Often takes 50 minutes. Knife inserted in center should emerge clean. (Just like with the boys of summer.)

Also, if you want it to be Wocka Flocka Flame Plumcot Yogurt Cake, add about half a cup of booze of some sort, and maybe a little more flour to compensate. Maybe rum or brandy or something, I don't know. Something not too overwhelming! Like, probably not schnapps, boozehound. Eat while wearing shorts.

34 Comments / Post A Comment

laurel (#4,035)

Wait, wait, what size yogurt container?! And also did you blanch and peel the plumthings?

I like it when Choire cooks a thing.

@spiralbetty Oh god no, I would never blanch or peel anything.

The yogurt container is like, you know, personal size. About a cup, give or take! Maybe a little more.

cherrispryte (#444)

@Choire Sicha But blanching/peeling is so much fun! At least it is with tomatoes. I have only tried it with tomatoes.

laurel (#4,035)

@cherrispryte It is very satisfying.

gumplr (#66)

Nicely contrasted against the white marble tabletop.
Reminds me of Edmund and his Turkish delights.

Dave Bry (#422)

"Wocka Flocka Flame Plumcot Yogurt Cake." You've made me very happy, Choire. Also the running serial killer joke and the dap to Chatham Sheepherding Company yogurt. This is just all gold.

SeanP (#4,058)

Did I miss what I was supposed to do with the other half stick of butter? This sounds delightful, by the way.

Carl Hess@twitter (#11,024)

@SeanP As far as I can tell, it was only there because you can't buy half a stick of butter at the store and Choire needed 1.5 sticks.

boysplz (#9,812)

@SeanP He obviously hasn't seen the little half sticks that Land O Lakes has been selling these past few years. They're kinda dumb (really just save the half left over) but ohmygawd are they precious little baby butter sticks!

hman (#53)

@boysplz Those half-sticks sound neat! But I'm guessing Choire is more a Lurpak or Plugra kinda guy.

bronwyn (#3,351)

These sticks of butter! Why is most of your American food so much greater in volume than the rest of the world, but your butter not so? It does not make sense to me.

boysplz (#9,812)

@bronwyn We DO love big things, but we also love "convenient" things. Think of the time you'll save never having to slice a stick of butter in half! Also, extra packaging!

Don't Panic (#12,659)

You could pour on the booze after you cook it so as to not loose precious alcohol in the cooking process. I highly recommend the combination of bourbon and peaches, though you probably do want to blanch the peaches and defuzz before baking. Now I want cake. And bourbon.

@Don't Panic I made bourbon pastry cream (see below) for a tart/pie/thing – the bourbon doesn't get cooked in the process – you could seriously get drunk on this stuff. Julia's recipe from MTAOFC, but with bourbon in place of "liqueur."

wallsdonotfall (#6,378)

@Don't Panic Bourbon and pineapple slices also make a great boozy pineapple upside down cake, which you can bake in a skillet.

On Monday I'm going to stalkerishly inundate you with pictures of my weekend baking (so we can be baking pen-pals!). The plan: peach slab pie with bourbon cream; strawberry pound cake; salted caramel brownies.

laurel (#4,035)

[standard newsletter subscription comment joke]

melis (#1,854)

[standard half-serious marriage proposal]

GailPink (#9,712)


Baking in the summer? Maybe if you live in the Sunset District of SF or an island of the coast of Nova Scotia, but where I live sane people don't turn on the oven during white shoes season.

Not that the cake doesn't look and sound delicious.

gfrblxt (#11,113)

@Captain Bringdown But one of the best ways to enjoy the fruits of summer is in cakes like this! Or slumps! Or grunts! Or cobblers! Or…..

@Choire – Have you ever made a galette? Messier b/c you need to roll out the dough, but a rustic plum (or apricot, or pluot) galette made with fresh fruit is omigodtodiefor. With a lightly-spiked whipped cream topping (suggestions above).

@gfrblxt Is there a difference between a pluot and a plumcot?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Setec Astrology: Ratio of plum to apricot.

@Cap'n Bummer: What you need is a good geothermal heating/cooling system. Chez dntsqz if we DON'T bake in June we freeze.

hockeymom (#143)

@Setec Astrology
I had that same question. Here's the answer (according to Wikipedia, so maybe true?)

A pluot (play /ˈpluː.ɒt/)[1] is a tradename for varieties of interspecific plum or plumcot developed in the late 20th century by Floyd Zaiger.[2][3] "Pluot" is a registered trademark of Zaiger's Genetics. Like the aprium, it is a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot. The pluot exhibits more plum-like traits than the aprium,[4] and is also called an interspecific or IS plum.

The fruit's exterior has smooth skin closely resembling that of a plum. Pluots are noted for their sweetness, their intense flavor, and very juicy pulp. Pluots are also rich in vitamin A.


But one of the best ways to enjoy the fruits of summer is in cakes like this! Or slumps! Or grunts! Or cobblers! Or…..

I will look for them in my neighborhood bakeries, but I won't be baking them myself!

gfrblxt (#11,113)

@Captain Bringdown:
If you find a bakery that has any of these that are any good, and you live in the NYC area, let me know. I've had little luck with baked fruit desserts of that type that are made commercially, even in a small bakery. Best to do them yourself.

Of course, there's always the non-cooking option for stone fruits in summer:
1) Slice up a whole bunch of stone fruits. Pit, of course. Add some to the bottom of a parfait glass, about 1/4 of the way up.
2) Whip up some whipped cream, sweetened or not (depends on the sweetness of the fruit), add some vanilla or almond extract. Add to the parfait glass atop the fruits.
3) Take some amaretti cookies (Italian almond cookies) and crumble them up. Sprinkle them on top of the whipped cream.
4) Go back to step 1 and repeat until the glass is full.

SeanP (#4,058)

@Captain Bringdown Two words: portable oven. Nesco makes one that's quite nice (there are other brands as well but I'm not familiar with them), and it works just as well as your real oven – only on the back porch. We use ours all the time for hot-weather baking & roasting. And at Thanksgiving when your main oven is occupied with other stuff, but you've got to bake that extra dressing…

wb (#2,214)

David Tanis has a version of this cake in Platter of Figs and it rules my kitchen in the summer. I've made it with just about any fruit and it always turns out wonderfully–except when I tried to use blood oranges. The greatest advantage of Tanis' recipe? The butter is melted, so you don't have to wait for a stick to soften before making it.

cherrispryte (#444)

Choire, could I make this with strawberries or other berries? Because I don't really like stone fruit.

VoxPopuli (#1,060)

Maybe you could offset the tartness by drizzling it with icing? Would that be too sweet? It sounds amazing.

BadUncle (#153)

"Summer Cake" makes as much sense as "underwear overcoat." Summer – the King of Seasons – is married to Pie, the Queen of Desserts. Why not just post some anarcho-syndicalist horror show, like crepes??

markcrucial (#13,535)

I am craving for fruit cake. I love this one.

Skarl (#13,559)

That cake looks so good!

jmbeck15 (#2,464)

I have to say, the comment about the knife and the boys of summer nearly made me spit beer all over my computer in a short spurt of laughter.

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