Italian Innovation: Plumcake in The Glass

Italians not only stick to their own traditions and all time classics, but they love to look outside of their borders and see what the others are doing. And when they do this, they sometimes come up with interesting innovations.
Baking a plumcake in a pot allows the cake to be more fragrant and less dry. This is the result of years of experiments and successes by the Italian chef Denis Dianin, who run a pastry shop in a small town in Veneto.

The term plumcake may be misleading, since there are no actual plums in the recipe. The origin of this kind of cakes is in England and in the past there used to be dry plums in the dough. Today often dry fruits are added to the dough, but in Italy is very common to bake a plumcake without dry fruits.

dsc_9972In order to fill 2 glass pots of 850 ml (we used the Weck glass pots):

  • 250 gr of butter
  • 190 gr of sugar
  • 40 gr of honey
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 250 gr of eggs
  • 250 gr of white flour
  • 5 gr of baking powder

Set of the Weck jar includes a lid, a rubber seal and 2-3 clips.

We start putting the butter out of the refrigerator for one hour in order to make it become softer. After that, using a stand mixer with the beater head or a simple spatula, work the butter until it becomes very creamy.

Put the vanilla beans on a cutting board and with a knife cut them in half following the long side. Then take out the pulp inside, scratching the inner part with the knife.

add-allAt this point add sugar, honey and the pulp previously extracted from the vanilla beans to the butter. Mix the ingredients for about 5 minutes, until all of them have been blended in a uniform cream.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs making sure that the yolk and the egg white are well blended and slowly add the eggs to the mix. After the eggs have been absorbed it is time to take care of the flour and the baking powder.

Never ever add the flour without first sifting it. This will make sure that there will be no lumps in the cream and will allow you to properly mix the flower with the baking powder.

After sifting flour and baking powder together, add the powders to the dough, always slowly in order to avoid lumps and make it easier to have a smooth dough.

After a couple of minutes the dough is ready to be used. Up to this point you can use this recipe to bake any traditional vanilla plumcake. But here is where the magic happens.

Helping yourself with a sac-à-poche, fill up the glass pots to their 2/3rd and make sure not to have air inside the dough shaking the pots a bit. The shake will also even the upper part.

Heat up the oven to 175 degrees and once the temperature is right, put the glass pots inside the oven without the cover for about 45 minutes. It is important to keep the temperature to 175 degrees in order to avoid the plumcake to burn.

After the baking time, you will notice that both the top and the side of the pot have become brown.Take the pots out of the oven and cover them with the cover and seal them with the clips.

Put the pots upside down and let them rest until they become cold. This is the moment where the plumcake will gain a special taste and texture. In fact the plumcake will continue to be cooked inside the pots, but with a high pressure.

Once the pots have cooled down, open them take out the plumcake. We opened the jars after about 4 hours. We took the chance to walk around and meet with friends. You will notice that the plumcake surface is darker than when you took it out of the oven.

dsc_0102Enjoy it for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with a nice cup of coffee.

Buon Appettito!

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