Thursday, November 17, 2016

Meet the emergency cake

By Mary Jane Maffini aka half of Victoria Abbott

Twice this past week, I needed an emergency treat in the freezer and was out of luck. It’s been a busy fall, and while the cupboard wasn’t bare, it was full of ingredients, not ready to go items. 

So when I needed to drop something off to a friend who had lost a loved one, I had to postpone it until I could make something.  Then when a friend dropped in unexpectedly, we didn’t have a cookie or a cake in the freezer to produce. Not even ice cream and a topping. Nada.

 Cheese and crackers had to do. 

So today, I decided to start restocking. I choose this double recipe for our favorite plum cake. It’s the easiest cake ever and it tastes delicious despite having just a few ordinary ingredients.  

Many years ago, I found this wonderful little cake recipe in a magazine. I no longer even remember which one and there’s nothing on the clipping or I’d give them credit!  Of course, I’ve changed it a little bit. I can never resist.  We usually have plums or plumcots around so, today, we were in business. Sure enough, someone dropped in tonight and one of those cakes has a big chunk out of it.

Plum or rhubarb cake

4 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
1 cup plus two tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons chilled butter
1 tsp good quality vanilla.
4 -5 ripe prune plums or plumcots  (or 1 cup or so chopped rhubarb)

Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.  Beat in flour just enough to blend.

Pour into two greased 8 inch baking pans.  Arrange a layer of fruit on the top.  Top with dabs of butter. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Use a tester because bake times can vary because of the fruit.

When the cakes are cool, dust with icing sugar.  Serve as is or with whipping cream or ice cream.This cake takes eight minutes to prepare and only 25 to bake.

You saved enough time to put your feet up and read a book (and eat your cake).

And you have a cake to eat and one to freeze for a rainy day, a friend in need or an unexpected visitor.

How about you?   Do you have an emergency treat at hand for surprise visitors?  Or maybe just for yourself?  Time to share our secrets.

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