If you've ever been to a German bakery, you know that Germany excels at carbs. Germany's carb came is, in fact, so strong that there is a whole fourth meal of the day dedicated to carbs - cakes, to be exact. Over here in America, where cake is, to my utter disappointment, not considered a meal, I have come to think of it as my favorite dessert. When I've had a rough week at work, chances are there will be some baking going on over the weekend. For me, because I have a job where the work product isn't something creative or tangible, creating something with my own two hands is the best de-stresser. (I guess some would say a 400-page contract is a tangible thing, but somehow that doesn't seem to do the trick in terms of de-stressing...) ;)
Sometimes, this creative energy translates into sewing or crocheting or crafting, but let's be real, in the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, it's even more fun when you can use the final product to eat your feelings about whatever it is that is stressing you out. So, cake it is! And who came blame me, really, for wanting to uphold my German heritage...
(Side note: if you have never been to a German bakery, do yourself a big favor and put it on your bucket list.)
I remember asking my grandma for this recipe last year in the fall, when I was about 5 months pregnant and just really really craving her plum cake. Whenever we go to my grandma's house as a family, we usually try to arrive around 4 in the afternoon - which is when this fourth meal called "coffee and cake" (tea for tea drinkers of course) or "Kaffeeklatsch" takes place - knowing that there will inevitably be a sweet treat and tea waiting for us. I love that this cake reminds me of those moments - it just smells and tastes like family and home!
What you need:
1 round cake pan (9 inches/20 cm)
1/2 cup of butter (125 g)
1/2 cup of sugar (125 g)
3 egg yolks, 3 egg whites
1 package of German vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 cup of all purpose flour ((125g)
1 teaspoon of baking powder (1/2 packet, if you are in a place where baking powder comes in packets)
About 4-5 plums (or 4-5 handfuls of other fruit - peach slices, blueberries, apple slices, apricots, you name it)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Separate the eggs, melt the butter until soft, then mix the egg yolk with the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) until smooth. Slowly add in the flour, mix until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the dough.
Butter and flour the cake pan and pour the dough inside.
Cut the plums into thin slices and arrange in circles (see my first picture, which is from before the cake went into the oven). Ok, to be honest you can arrange them in any pattern you want, but I think the circles look so cute and pretty, don't you agree?
Bake at 350F for an hour. Tada!
...Here's a little secret: It's even better with whipped cream on top!