This week was tray-bake and biscuit week on the Bake off, with signature traybakes, tuiles and showstopper biscuit towers all being attempted. I particularly liked the look of Frances’ amazing jenga tower of banana millionaire’s shortbread. Glenn’s tiffin also looked really yummy, although Paul was worried about the quantity of chocolate which went into it…
I really liked the idea of Frances’ ‘haberdashery tower’, but unfortunately the pull of gravity was too great for her biscuit buttons to withstand! In the end, I thought that Beca’s cake stand looked the best, although as a green tea fan myself, I was also interested in Howard’s ‘Japanese pagoda’.
However, this week posed a problem when I was deciding what to bake. I decided not to make a biscuit tower, having seen the showstoppers made by the contestants, as they used A LOT of biscuits! Tuiles didn’t really appeal to me either, as there isn’t much room for experimentation – so it had to be the good old tray bake.
This week we were given some plums and jam jars by some friends, and the plum jam which I made was the perfect ingredient to use in this tray-bake. Plums are such a lovely autumn fruit, which are in abundance at the moment. This jam recipe makes more than you will need for this bake, but a jar of home-made jam makes a perfect present (or of course, you can just keep them yourself…!)
Spiced plum crumble tray bake
For the jam:
500g plums, stoned and roughly chopped
500g jam sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
For the sponge:
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
150g plum jam
8 ripe Victoria plums, halved
For the crumble topping:
70g plain flour
40g soft brown sugar
20 x 30cm tray bake tin, greased and lined with baking paper
2 sterilised jam jars (jars which have been through the dishwasher and dried in a low oven)
- Put a couple of small ceramic saucers in the freezer to get cold.
- Put the plums, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, and cook over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Heat for another 3 minutes until the plums look soft and mushy.
- Bring the jam to the boil, and cook on a high heat for about 8-10 minutes, until the plums look syrupy, and it is boiling stickily.
- Test a small spoonful of jam on one of the frozen saucers; the jam is ready if it wrinkles up when you push it with your finger.
- If it isn’t ready yet, return to the heat and boil for another 3 minutes, then check again.
- When your jam is ready, carefully ladle into the sterilised jars and cool. Ladle the remaining jam into a small bowl – you will use this for the bake!
- For the sponge, heat your oven to 180°C, then put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream until it is pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one by one, stirring well in between. Then add the flour and spices and fold in.
- Spoon into your tray and smooth the surface.
- Cook for about 20 minutes, until the sponge is risen, but still pale.
- Take it out of the oven and spoon over the reserved jam, covering as much of the cake as you can. Then arrange the plum halves on top, in 4 rows of 4 – to create 16 slices.
- Put back in the oven for 5 minutes, while you make the crumble topping.
- For the crumble, put the butter, sugar and flour into a bowl and rub between your fingers until you get a fine, breadcrumb-like consistency, with some lumps.
- After 5 minutes, take the bake out, sprinkle over the crumble, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown.
This post is also linked up with the lovely great bloggers bake off – http://www.thecrazykitchen.co.uk/p/the-great-bloggers-bake-off.html
This is organised by http://www.thecrazykitchen.co.uk/p/the-great-bloggers-bake-off.html and http://www.mummymishaps.co.uk/category/gbbo 🙂