Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Finder's Keepers...Plum Celebration Cake

Does anyone remember the early 1990s Children's TV series 'Finder's Keepers'? 

Hidden in each room of a huge house* were objects that the two teams of children had to find. Each room was trashed in the excitement that followed, while a great big blue arrow on the screen showed viewers at home where the objects were actually hidden. I now shout at Strictly on the television ('Nooooo, she deserves way more than a four Craig, did you not see her heel turns?!'**), then I'd be shouting at Finders Keepers ('Looooook...its there, no there, there!, Noooo..'). 

My search for the ingredients for this recipe reminded me of this show, arguably the highlight of Neil Buchanan's illustrious Children's Television Presenting career.

I was sure I'd plenty of caster sugar. I definitely had more than one large egg left. And could I find the vanilla extract? Could I heck. It took the best part of the final Great British Bake Off Masterclass, involved emptying out all the cupboards and included the discovery of three half opened jars of mixed spice***.

If only I'd had a bit of encouragement from Neil and a great big blue arrow. 

Plum Celebration Cake
(adapted from Good Food magazine)


175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsps soured cream
5 plums, stoned and cut into small segments

For the cream cheese topping:

150g full fat cream cheese
75g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/160 C (fan)/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a loose bottomed 22cm round cake tin 
2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and baking powder  in a bowl and beat with an electircal whisk until combined
3. Beat in the soured cream and stir in the plum segments with a large spoon
4. Tip the mixture into the tin and spread it level. Bake for 50 minutes until risen and springs back when touched. Cool in the tin for ten minutes then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Leave to finish cooling on the rack
5. The frosting is made by beating the soft cheese and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread over the cooled cake and decorate

Baker's notes...
  • The cake can be frozen, uniced
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to eat but do remove one hour prior to serving

*Well, I was nine years old when I was watching it; I don't suppose I noticed that the 'huge house' was made from plywood, sticky back plastic and located in a cold draughty Scottish Television studio. 

** That is a tiny lie. Despite nine series, I still haven't a clue what a heel turn is.

*** Only two of the jars were out of date. Result.


  1. Definitely a celebration cake! I have many moments of not being able to find what I want. It's always easier being the audience at home, isnt it? Bonus finding the spice jars.

  2. A GREAT looking celebration cake and you so ingenuous Kate! I get in a right muddle sometimes and end up chucking all sorts of things in, never to be remembered.
    Great find the spice jars though!

  3. Haha I loved that programme! Great memories and a gorgeous recipe :-)

  4. I wanted to congratulate for the Blog on Fire Award from Yonks....:)

  5. I hate to admit this but I was a bit too old for children's programmes in the early nineties - I was at uni and you were nine - oh that is depressing! Oh well that cake with the lovely icing makes up for it.

  6. Hehe I loved that show! This seems to be me every time I bake. I would love to be the kind of person the has all the ingredients lined up perfectly but no I constanly am rummaging and looking for alternatives. The icing looks yummy!

  7. To a fellow Welsh blogger, I have passed the Blog on Fire Award to you - love your recipes!
    Di :-)

  8. Yes, now you mention it, I do remember that programme - I'm pretty sure that I used to tell the contestants where the prizes were hidden too....

    Can I join you in asking for a big blue arrow too please, I needed mine to find the chilli flakes for my We Should Cocoa cake this month - took me about 30 minutes hard searching, while all the other ingredients waited... so frustrating. Found them eventually, but like yourself, only after locating about a million other jars of (largely out of date) spices...

    Fab cake too!


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