Frankly speaking Goan Plum Cake has nothing to do with plums. I do not know the history as how it was named but I do know that it still is a very popular cake in Goa. The almost black cake has a flavor of candied orange rinds, blackened sugar and is dense. It smells and taste very close to the Italian Panettone Bread except it has a cake texture. I enjoy eating this cake for evening tea and it’s on my must have list to bring back from Goa. This recipe has been on my to-do list for a long time. Trying to search for the recipe online was not easy as the search only showed the Famous Goan fruit cake which is made with brandy or rum, dry fruits and nuts. But they were listed as Plum cake. For a Goan born and raised in Goa we sure can tell the difference in recipe.
As it is that time of the year where costco has a lot of panettone bread I bought some, kept eating and reading the ingredients to guess what the recipe would be. It took me a couple of attempts including adding molasses which was not a really good idea before I got the recipe right. Like I said before, for recipes that I do not know I use my memories of that dish, the way it smells, taste and texture. I am so happy to finally almost nail the recipe. Plum cake is an everyday cake usually served when friends and family drop by. It is a non boozy cake unlike the Goan fruit cake which may look close but has a few more ingredients. It is cut in about 9 x 4″ rectangle with the burnt edges trimmed and wrapped in plastic wrap and sold at bakeries and Tea Cafe’s.
Serving Size: 9 inch loaf pan
Black Caramel Syrup – Make 30 minutes ahead and let cool
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp of water
1 cup flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 stick soft butter
1/2- 3/4 cups sugar ( I used only 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp, I prefer less sugar)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup candied orange rinds
1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)
On medium heat in a heavy bottom pan add the 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp of water and heat till the sugar becomes black about 4-6 minutes.
Keep a close eye not to over burn.
Carefully add the remaining water and gently stir till the caramelized sugar turns to syrup.
Take of heat and let cool completely.
Heat oven to 385F.
Grease a loaf pan.
With a hand mixer mix sugar, eggs and softened butter till creamy. Next add the cooled sugar syrup and dried fruits and mix well.
Finally add the flour and baking powder to the batter and mix well.
Pour it in the pan and bake for 26-28 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool, trim the edges and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.
You can also wrap the cake in saran wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.