Plum and cream naked cake

So I had about two hours to come up with a cake for a last-minute request, and this is what I came up with. I knew that I wanted to do something simple with cream and cake and some kind of fruit, and it just so happened that, being 1/4 Chinese, I had a ton of plums in the fridge that day. It sounded a bit weird at first, truth be told. Nobody ever really talks about a plum and cream cake. Peaches? Yes. Apricots, more so than plums. I typically only think of plums in cooking for plum sauce, or maybe like a plum upside down cake, where they have been roasted for hours. Not necessarily in a fresher preparation. So I figured, why not try this out? Plums when fresh are very tart, and it works well with cutting down the sugar and fat content in my vanilla cake and the Chantilly cream. It is a really simple cake, but one that I’ve grown to like rather quickly!

For the vanilla cake:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cider or plum vinegar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

In a stand mixer, start by creaming together your butter and sugar until light and airy, about 10 minutes. Sift your baking soda, flour, and salt together. In another bowl, mix together your vanilla, vinegar, and buttermilk. Alternate between fold your dry, then wet ingredients into the butter mixture until combined. Pour the batter onto a lined half sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Allow the cake to fully cool before cutting two full 6-inch circles and two half circles that when placed together, measure out to 6 inches in diameter.

For the vanilla soak:
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Mix together. Keep chilled until time to assemble.

For the Chantilly cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together everything until the cream forms stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag.

For assembly:
4 fresh plums
2 tablespoons honey

With two of your plums, dice into large pieces. Segment one plum as well, and finely dice the last one. For the cake, start with the two half-layers and add in 1/3 of your soak to that. Pipe on your cream, and place on the larger diced plums. Then repeat this with the next layer. For the last layer, soak it, then pipe on your cream, and garnish with the plum segments and finer diced plum. Refrigerate until time to serve.

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