I’ve been spending a lot of time working… at work. It’s been nice to be involved in so many different projects and to see them near completion. Unfortunately, schedules can collide and everything can end up happening – and more importantly – require to finish all at once. Which means days full of giving and giving – and arriving home frazzled and short of losing the ability to utter complete sentences.
Usually, the husband I take turns in living through these peak phases and thus it all works out somehow because we pick up each other’s slack until the other person is available again. This time around though, we’re both overextending ourselves, which translates into missing out on perks such as the every-evening-pre-dinner-delivery-service from the supermarket or the drug store and leaving the laundry resting in its hamper for longer than is sensible.
And then there is the issue of cooking. Food sits in the refrigerator and waits, because cooking and baking plans get scrapped in favor of quickie-meals or eating out in favor of quality time. I’ve been struggling to give in to the urge of just eating whatever, with the result that I have been eating strange concoctions of randomly steamed vegetables topped with a dash of salt, oddly-spiced tofu accompanied with plain potatoes or rice or the odd slice of gluten-free bread, because I’ve started preparing meals only to quit mid-way through after I realize that the kitchen was out of essentials such as soy sauce (which the husband was supposed to bring from downtown last week, but didn’t find time for) or curcuma (which I was supposed to buy on Saturday, but forgot as I never ended up going to the Turkish corner store).
Today I ran out to the supermarket long after I had arrived home only to specifically buy a glass of ready-to-go tomato sauce. I never do this, but today I opened the refrigerator, stared into it wide-eyed and skeptical, dumbfounded as to what to cook with its contents. Time for gluten-free spaghetti Napoli!
But there are also those fortunate moments when you find everything within arm’s reach for a delicious cake at seven PM and then pull the crispy sucker and its scent out into the world at nine PM. And then there is the wonderful moment when you get busy offering the entire house plum crumb cake, just because you can and what gift could be nicer than a warm slice of cake just before bed-time? Afterwards, the first part of the day seems like a distant memory: there’s always tomorrow. Huh, work, what?
Plum Crumb Cake
For the base:
3 eggs (large)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons sugar
1 package baking powder
300g gluten-free flour (I used one third Schaer Mix It!, Harina de Reposteria and one third Dove’s Farm plain white gluten-free flour mix)
½ tsp gluten-free agents (e.g. xanthan gum, carob and guar gum)
1 dash of salt
For the filling:
1 kilo fresh plums (or any other delicious fruit that you have lying around the garden or kitchen)
For the crumby crumble:
150g gluten-free flour mix
100g ground almonds and hazelnuts
150g cold butter
a dash of cinnamon
Turn your oven on and set the temperature to 180°C.
Place all the ingredients for the base into a bowl and whisk into a smooth and crumbless batter.
Wash the plums, halve them and remove the pit.
Place all of the ingredients for the crumbs into a bowl and knead gently. Don’t overdo it, or the butter will be too soft (thus rendering less structures crumbs in the crumble).
Line a round baking tin with baking parchment and pour the batter into it and distribute evenly. Top with the plum halves (you should add more plums than you can see in the picture below). Drizzle the crumbly dough over the plums and place your plum crumb bake into the oven for about half an hour to fourty-five minutes until the plums have caramelized and the crumbs are golden-brown. Remove cake from oven once it has finished baking, leave in tin until it has cooled down somewhat and serve while still warm (with whipped cream, if you can bear it, I think it is perfect on its own!).