The amount of time I spend daydreaming about flavour combinations is a little terrifying – I will start cottoning on to an idea of things to put together and I genuinely can’t stop thinking about them until I try them (current works in progress include the perfect slice base/extras to be topped with marshmallows, how to tie meringue in with brownie). Apparently my baking style at the moment is to pick rustle up treats on the basis of what I need to use up/is on the verge of exhibiting excessive fruit fly magnetism. My flatmates and I all worked the weekend, and so I had Monday morning to play with the very ripe plums on hand. Figuring the acid of the plums would cut the rich butteriness of a chocolate shortcake base, this slice quickly came to fruition, with the addition of chocolate for obvious reasons (read: chocolate) and coconut for an extra textural element and sweetness.
This could easily be baked in a cake tin and served like so for a summery afternoon tea or dinner party. On this occasion, I was providing sustenance to the emergency department staff on an evening shift, so squares worked perfectly.
- 125g butter, nearly melted
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature and free range (always)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 black Doris plums, stoned and cut into eighths
- 100g dark chocolate
- 60g desiccated coconut
- 100g sweetened condensed milk
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325F/170C bake. Grease and line a 23x23cm square cake tin with baking paper.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the caster sugar and butter until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the vanilla essence. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just mixed.
- Pour the shortcake batter into the tin. Melt the chocolate on low heat in the microwave, then, using around half of the chocolate, dollop blobs over the shortcake. Marble the mixture through the shortcake with a bamboo skewer or end of a spoon.
- Arrange the plum segments on top. Combine the coconut and condensed milk and scatter the sticky crumb at random over the slice. Drizzle with more chocolate (save a little for decorating later).
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Transfer to wire rack and cool before decorating.
- Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with the last of the chocolate. Cut into pieces (I didn’t even wait for the chocolate to solidify) and serve.