Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Plum and Almond Cake with Orange Icing

Spam. Nope, not the unwelcome email kind. But the wartime staple, Monty Python favourite and back-of-the-cupboard dust-attractor kind. The kind that hit the headlines this week when it was revealed to be considered an incredibly popular luxury item in.... South Korea.

Disclaimer: This has absolutely nothing to do with Plum and Almond Cake but I just loved this food story and was in the mood for sharing. I promise you won't be reading the recipe below and suddenly come across the secret ingredient of spam nestled between the eggs and flour.  

Marketed as "The Miracle Meat" when first launched in the 1930s, tins of Spam (SPiced hAM) are given as gifts to celebrate Korea's annual lunar thanksgiving holiday. It is key ingredient in dishes such as budae jjigae ("army stew"), but my favourite fact of all? Spam is considered the most opulent addition to any South Korean luxury hampers. 

Can you imagine if that was the case this Christmas in posh homes up and down the UK.... 

'A Hamper from Fortnum and Masons? Why you shouldn't have! How delightful!'

(rustling of paper) 

'And look! All my favourites are here... Marc de Champagne Truffles! Christmas Pudding! Monarch Full Bodied Vintage Marmalade! And...erm...Spam? Hmm....You really shouldn't have' 

Anyway, back to the spam-free Plum and Almond Cake with Orange Icing 

Plum and Almond Cake with Orange Icing 

For the cake:
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs 
225g self-raising flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
2 tsp almond extract 
75g soured cream 
300g plums, stoned and cut into small pieces  

For the icing: 
150g sifted icing sugar 
50ml water 
1tsp orange extract OR zest of 1 orange 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C/Gas Mark 4 and butter and line the base of a loose-based 22cm round cake tin  
2. Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and extract in a large bowl for a couple of minutes until well combined. Beat in the soured cream and stir in the chopped plums. 
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until firm to touch and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.  
4. Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
5. To make the icing: Place the icing sugar and extract into a large bowl. Gradually stir in the water until a smooth, thick icing is achieved, drizzle over the cooled cake 

Baker's notes...


  1. I actually used to like spam at school, I think I was the only one... not sure i'd be so keen now. Love the pudding cake thingy... very seasonal and I love the almonds too. gorgeous all round!

  2. I can't and won't ever begin to understand spam but I'd love a slice of this beautiful cake Kate!

  3. I was brought up on spam sandwiches, it was still rationed when I was a little nipper !! I actually bought a tin a couple of years ago to see if it was just as delicious. I came to the conclusion that my tastes in food have moved on a little since then !!

    The cake looks lovely !!

  4. I love how everyone gas their own special memories of Spam!

  5. I have a long running joke with my nephew that each christmas, one of his gifts will be a tin of span. It came about years ago when his mum, who doesn't like spam, claimed they didn't have it at their local supermarket. So, amid all his other (more expensive) presents I wrapped a tin of spam. When she came to pick him up and asked what he'd got he went running out to her yelling, "I've got spam"...and the tradition developed from there!

    Lovely cake, btw!

  6. That icing pouring down the edges is so tempting!

    Spam in a luxury hamper, who would have thought?! haha. I tried fried spam for the first time this year (with a fried egg). Didn't really know what to make of it, other than it was very salty!


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