We have a plum tree in our garden which periodically gives us a crop of plums. This year we have a crop and after the children have gorged themselves on what they can scrump I might have a few plums for my favourite plum cake.
It may horrify you to know that I can take or leave cake most of the time but not his one. This cake is deliciously light with the sharp fruit cutting through the buttery flavour. The nuts add a toasted crunch which you didn’t know you were missing until this beautiful cake.
Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
75g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
70g blanched hazelnuts roughly chopped
6 – 7 small plums, stoned and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 180°C
- First toast the hazelnuts until lightly browned and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the plums then butter and line a 20cm cake tin.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Sieve the flour into the wet ingredients and gently fold into the mixture.
- Fold in the ground almonds followed by the hazelnuts.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and flatten the top gently.
- Lay the sliced plums across the top, I like to arrange them in a circle but do bear in mind they will sink in so you don’t need to expend too much energy.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes and test with a skewer.
- Cool for ten minutes in the tin before turning out onto a rack to cool.
I’ve adapted this recipe from one in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (an absolute must read).
We are crazy in love with Just So Festival. It is our family’s annual summer highlight and the children look forward to it all year.
This year was no exception, we’ve been talking about Just So since the Winter Solstice when our first tickets were booked.
Now in its fifth year, Just So is a festival which brings the arts, nature and families together in an explosion of unicorn certified awesome. There is so much going on over the weekend that we end up feeling like we saw so much yet missed loads at the same time.
A total highlight for me was John Hegley, his set was brilliantly funny and a perfect fit at Just So. Along with Perhaps Contraption and the Bollywood Dance class it was one of the fixtures we went to for Mama.
This year we finally managed to buy our own tent after a few years of searching for a good deal (tip: ex-hire tents are sold in the Spring on Gumtree). We took it along for its first outing and it was worth the long wait – it is a perfect canvas home.
I managed to forget my pyjama top so I awoke each morning even more creaky than usual and it was definitely my limitations rather than the children’s which slowed us down this year. I definitely need to do some more camping and get my back used to it again.
This year the children decided to switch tribes from owls to lions & foxes which prompted a day of designing and sewing. I really loved how the manes turned out and my two lions were thrilled with meeting the tribal leaders around the festival. Next year I definitely need to create some adult costumes as well.
I care a great deal about Just So Festival and am so grateful to Rowan, Sarah and the whole team for bringing it to life each year. We are incredibly proud to be customers of Just So and to contribute to its future.
If you are considering buying a ticket for future years then do it now. Camping may be difficult and the weather may give in to rain but it really will be the most magical weekend you spend in the entire year.
The attention to detail and quality of experience is second to none. The atmosphere is, on the whole, one of camaraderie. The pace is more in step with the needs of children than any other festival I have attended.
Just So is a truly special and unique event and the inspiration you will draw from your visit is the kind that stays with your for years.
And let me take you to the circus.
Giffords Circus is my heart’s delight each year. It’s everything you ever dreamed the circus would be and each year their shows are a feast for the imagination.
This past weekend we drove through the wilds of hurricane Bertha to visit our friends and to take a trip to the circus together. There was a languorous lunch, gossip, cooped up children, pudding photography and the shared excitement of our trip to the marvellous village green circus.
Here is a glimpse of the performance which I heartily recommend you see for yourself before the Summer wanes.
As the heat of the Summer day begins to wane the call of an evening adventure rises in my heart.
Knowing we had missed the peak but curious to wander the fields nonetheless we headed out to find poppies in the evening sun.
We searched the horizons until we saw a glimpse of silver and red up ahead…
It’s the kind of beauty that soaks into you; stirring memories of childhood poppy fields in the waning heat of a Summer evening.