In case you didn’t already know, we are exactly in the middle of Rosh Hashanah. The beginning of the High Holidays. The Jewish New Year. That One Holiday That No One Really Knows How To Pronounce.
Each year my in-laws host two beautiful dinners to celebrate with family and friends. The tables are packed, the wine glasses are always full and there is enough food to put Thanksgiving to shame.
Everyone brings something to contribute – a dish, a bottle or some lovely flowers. Most years, I’ve waited to receive an assignment because I don’t really have a Jewish holiday dish that is “mine.”
But this year, as I was perusing the New York Times I found a recipe for Red Wine Honey Cake with Plums. I am a big fan of Melissa Clark’s and I’ve had success in general with the recipes that appear in that newspaper. I claimed dessert immediately.
I always struggle with Pareve (neutral) desserts at the holidays because I loathe and despise margarine with a hatred that is unequaled on this earth.
They are dry. The texture is off. Everything sort of tastes the same.
So I was especially intrigued by this dessert because it had none of that. Instead we had olive oil. Honey. Red wine. A lot of sugar.
And plums. Macerated with honey and thyme. Because that’s just…different.
Now would also be the time to give y’all the full disclosure that actioning this cake meant that I got to use my Bundt pan.
Secret: I am basically a Bundt-hoarder. I have a standard 6 cup pan. I have six miniature pans. I have two separate muffin tins (standard and holiday).
With a collection like that, I should probably be actioning Bundts on a weekly basis. Nevermind the fact that loosing a cake from a bundt pan is probably one of the most prayerful acts a baker can commit.
I’m getting distracted. Back to this cake of ours. After tossing it in the oven, trying to light my oven on fire with the overflow from the cake and finally wrestling it all into submission, we came up with…this.
It was essentially a spice cake of sorts. Very dense but extremely moist. I feel like it’s always a bit tricky to strike a balance there because we’re just one step away from creating something that more closely resembles a carb-shaped brick than anything edible. Am I right?
I don’t know that I’ve ever actioned any sort of dish that involves plums, but I really like how the sweetness of the fruit balanced with the cake. Even though there is nothing light At All about mixing fruit with sugar, it still managed to lighten up everything. This dish would be a complete disaster if you attempted it with any sort of berry, but I think you could have a lot of success with any sort of stone fruit or even a heavier, more syrup-y arrangement.
Hell, you could probably do a glaze if you were feeling so inclined. Live a life without limits.