Baking | Plum upside-down cake … in season with plums #stonefruitlove

“I am putting real plums into an imaginary cake.”
Mary McCarthy

Plum upside-down cake

Plum upside-down cake … if you are like me, you’ve probably been fascinated with baking cakes for years. I have almost baked every upright cake that caught my fancy, innovating and playing along the way. Almost every cake but an upside down one. For some reason, it never did appeal to me. Until now …Plums summer stone fruit

plumsIt never caught my fancy because I believed most upside down cakes were pineapple upside down cakes. The colour play was never good enough to catch my attention. Besides, I have never come across a reasonably healthy upside cake that tempted me to pick up my pots and pans.Plum upside-down cakeIt’s strange that you suddenly can’t get enough of a fruit when you get to the end of the season. What’s not to love about plums, least of all that they are one of the most nutritious fruits around. They are versatile. You could enjoy them endlessly in the raw form, toss them into salads, make crumbles and crisps, frozen yogurt,or maybe a plum lemonade. I’ve done all that.Plums summer stonefruitThen a few days ago when I looked at them, a voice in my head said plum upside-down cake. It was the day the baking bug seemed to have hit FB. Everyone was baking something … fig cakes, bread, all good stuff! I was  baking too {so what’s new}. That bowlful looked at me. How many could I possibly eat? Still obsessed with baking with fruit, here’s what I did …

Plum upside-down cakeI experimented a little here and there, and came up with this. Baking can be so rewarding. I used an all time favourite as a base recipe, the Buttermilk Pound Cake. The Plum upside-down cake knocked my breath out when I flipped it upside down. Rustic pretty! Soft, moist, flavourful … some creme fraiche or low fat cream on the side. Better still, some good ole vanilla ice cream.

Plum upside-down cake 2 ’twas delicious! Just what I hoped it would be. The luscious deeply coloured and baked plums won me over. They looked moorish, dripping fruit juices right back into the cake, moistening it with beautiful flavours.

Plum upside-down cake The good thing is that while baking the plums release some delicious juices. Once baked, when you turn the cake upside down, these delicious plum juices moisten the warm cake making it heavenly. I have used plain flour, whole wheat flour and almond meal in my cake.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

No Bake/Frozen | Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream … just right for summer #stonefruitlove

“Ice cream is happiness condensed.”
Jessie Lane Adams

Peach Mango Low Fat Ice CreamPeach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream… nothing screams more comfort in summer than frozen fruit dessert! I do loads of frozen yogurt every summer. The last week I looked at my fridge full of mangoes and peaches and just knew an ice cream was in the future. There are days when fro yo will satisfy the craving, and then there are days when I want to ‘up the luxury‘. Just a teeny bit. A little cream can do no harm!Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream It was one of those days where a creamy ice cream craving was developing. It began with the trappings of  a fro yo, and ended up being a low-fat ice cream. This was such fun to make and absolutely delicious. Maybe next time, we’ll see a nice, rich, full fat ice cream. Maybe!

Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream With stone fruit a plenty this summer, now the monsoon showers are literally drowning North India. As we wade through the streets, I think we’re looking at the last peaches and plums of the season. Cherries have been bid adieu, and peaches look set  to follow! Plums appear to be the hardiest of the lot. Mangoes, of course, will be here for a while longer, another month at least. Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream 600North India has seen a really good stone fruit crop this year. The Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream is a wonderful and delicious way to celebrate it. Creamy, fruity, slight undertones of almond, it turned out bowl licking good. Stone Fruit SummerI froze some in a bowl, and piped the rest into kulfi / popsicle molds. I loved how sweetly the popsicles turned out. So easy to serve this way, and such a treat to see the kids greedily lick the sticks even when there was nothing left on them! Coco got lucky with a few licks too!Peach Mango Low Fat Ice Cream It’s been a satisfying season and I really love how versatile stone fruit are. We’re looking at the fag-end of the season, so I intend to pack in as much as possible … into our tummies, and  hopefully onto the blog too!

You can find a variety of  Stone Fruit Recipes on PAB.
Do you have a favourite stone fruit recipe? I’d love to know!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake … refreshing summer cake #stonefruitlove

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness!
If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C

Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered CakeStone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake ... a light lemon scented sponge layered with  a homemade quark cheese & cream filling. The filling taken to a delicious summery high with a stone fruit pie filling inspired by a recipe from Pioneer Woman. Turned out to be a fruity and delicious birthday cake!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake Another birthday, another cake. Summer birthdays are a little bothersome. Humid summer birthdays even more. My dad’s birthday falls in July. If the heat isn’t bad enough, with the monsoons here too, the humidity threatens to play spoilsport. Nothing behaves. NOTHING! The only bright spot … cartloads of stone fruit!

Summer Stone FruitThe cream does not get whipped up. The double cream that I have bought locally disappointed once again. Thankfully I had made some quark the night before as I had this Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries in my head.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream CakeQuark adds a special yumminess to the cream filling. The slight undertones of tanginess of the curd cheese pair really well with stone fruit {and berries too}. I use quark a lot as you can see here. Now it makes me happy to see my friends and local food bloggers like Cookaroo and White Ramekins experiment with this very simple to make curd cheese.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I was in and out of the fridge with the cake. In weather like this, you have to work really fast. But it was fun. You learn to push the boundaries. A collar I didn’t think possible in this weather became possible. Shooting while piping it etc certainly wasn’t. 2 minutes out of the fridge in a hot kitchen and the lace collar curled up and threatened to melt.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I discovered a new stone fruit on the shelves this summer, actually only a day ago. It looks like a green plum, and I thought greengage maybe. But the guy at the bazaar muttered something quite inaudible like ‘pericosa‘. Googled forever and didn’t find anything. Leafed through one of my favourite cookbooks Fine Cooking In Season, and sure enough I found a listing under plums. The book is a wonderful reference on fresh produce in season. I’ve had it for 3 years and I turn to it often!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake These are called Mariposa plums, and are being cultivated locally in Manali, nestled in the Kullu  Valley in the Himalayas. So pretty and pretty delicious too, I couldn’t believe the deep red inside when  I cut through one. Stunning!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake & mariposa plumsSo in they went as well into the bowl with the pitted cherries with a few regular plums, all having a blast together. You could just do a cherry pie filling if you like. Our cherry season is at its fag end even as peaches and plums flood the bazaar.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I added some Camisoni premium lemon extract to the sponge. Lemon and fruit pair really well. The deep aromatic extract added a lot of flavour to the sponges. Together the lemon sponge, quark mousse and stone fruit gave the Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake the refreshing feel of summer.

Which brings me to the winners of the Camisoni tip and tricks giveaway. Our three winners are Yasmin, Andrea and Sangeeta. Will mail you soon for your mailing address! Congratulations to the three of you. Thank you all for the wonderful tips.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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