Germany makes exceptional cakes. Seriously, they may be famous for their beer but I pronounce their cakes, tarts, slices and so on to be even better. I gorge myself on German cakes every time I visit.
Now, I don’t like to play favourites with pastry products but this particular one is a favourite. It isn’t over-the-top or outlandish. It doesn’t look particularly inspiring, but it is delicious. Zwetschgenkuchen is plum cake; ‘zwetschge’ = plum, ‘kuchen’ = cake. If you look online for recipes you will find dozens for all different styles and shapes of cake, from layered confections to this simple slice. Everyone has their Grandmother’s recipe, which is of course the best.
Well, this is my mother’s recipe. What I like about it is that it is a slice, not a cake. It is therefore perfect with afternoon coffee as that little treat to accompany your brew. I also like that it isn’t too sweet. It may not seem so but the plums have a strange sweet/tart flavour that is just perfect perched on top of this cakey-shortbready base.
It’s so easy to make – give it a try and thank my Mum.
The quantities below makes two average sized trays, so you can half the amount, maybe depending on how many plums you have.
- 550g plain flour
- 250g butter
- 250g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1good splash rum
- Lots of plums. About 1kg. They need to be Damson Plums – or Sugar Plums some people call them. They aren’t in season for long so get on it!
- Cream butter and sugar well, add flour and eggs alternately, then rum. If it’s stiff, just add a splash of milk.
- Halve or quarter plums depending on size and place on pastry. Sprinkle with a bit of castor sugar. Be careful with this step, use just the gentlest sprinkling of sugar, otherwise you’ll burn the plums.
- Bake about 40mins at 200. Keep an eye on it before then.
Cool, cut up and serve. It keeps for a few days in the fridge. Depending on how often you need kaffee und kuchen.