Variety is the spice of life right? That’s certainly the case when it comes to the humble plum. There are more than 2,000 varieties, with over 300 types being grown here in the UK. The most popular being the Victoria plum, after Queenie! Whilst the UK plum season doesn’t start until August, plums from China, Mexico, Serbia and California are readily available all year round. I managed to grab some Okanagan plums from Waitrose for today’s raw chocolate plum cake with a hazelnut crust. They have a dark purple skin and a sweet, firm flesh so make the perfect topping.
Plums hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of my childhood. Picking, eating and wearing them all over my face in a big rosy red clown smile! What’s more they were my first taste of entrepreneurship. At just 11 years old, 50p pocket money a week wasn’t going to buy me much so I started up my own plum stall. I spent what was the best part of 2 days climbing, picking, bagging and decorating my pitch (my dad’s wallpaper table, mum’s kitchen chalkboard and the front lawn!)
I can remember it now… ‘organic sweet plums, 50p a bag.’ Check me out and my biodynamic, sustainable lingo! Sentiment still holds true today. I think a little old lady felt sorry for me, she bought the whole lot at the end of the day but result, first day’s trading scored me a whopping £5… Richard Branson would be proud! And so my love for plums continues. What food reminds you of childhood?
This cake is super easy to make and free from dairy, grains and sugar. Sweetened only with a tiny bit of raw honey. You just don’t need refind sugar, it holds zero nutritional benefit. You don’t even need the huge quantities of so called natural sugar I also see people adding into cakes. Fruit is still sugar, too much and it can feed unwanted gut microbes so look after your gut health and it will look after you. A little is fine, moderation is key.
Makes 6 slices of raw chocolate plum cake with a hazelnut crumb
- 120g shelled hazelnuts
- 3 dates
- 2 tablespoons of water or coconut oil (if too dry)
- Pinch of pink himalayan salt
- 3 avocados
- 50g coconut oil
- 70g raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)
- Pinch of pink himalayan salt
- 4 fresh plums
- Lemon water
Grease a 20 inch sandwich tin to prevent sticking. Soak the dates in a little warm water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain. Blitz the hazelnuts and dates together in a high speed food processor like a vitamix or nutribullet. If it’s to dry, add a tablespoon or two of water or coconut oil. It needs to be firm but moist so it’s sticky. If you don’t have a food processor, replace with ground almonds which you can buy from most supermarkets.
Press the nut mixture into the base of your tin and set in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Mix all the filling ingredients together using a hand blender or food processor. Spoon onto the base and level. Set in the freezer for about an hour.
Peel and remove the stones from the plums. Slice into wedges about half a cm thick and rest in a little fresh lemon water until you’re ready to use. This stops the plums turning brown.
When the cake is set, arrange the plum slices on top, dust with raw cacao and serve. A good dollop of coconut yoghurt pairs very nicely with it too. Enjoy x