These savory plum cakes are a tasty idea for an apritivo with a glass of prosecco or Martini spitz to enjoy with your family and friends.
Delicious Italian smoked scamorza cheese and onions make these treats extra moist and add flavor.
Scamorza is an Italian cheese, typical of Apulia and some parts of Campania and Molise (Southern Italy). It is a semi-soft cheese made of cow’s milk, similar to dry mozzarella. Scamorza has excellent melting properties and a delicate taste, therefore it is suitable for baking and grilling. Smoked scamorza has a more intense flavor than regular scamorza, so it is preferable in this type of recipe.
These plum cakes are an easy and flavorful dish to please you and your guests!
PLUM CAKES WITH ONIONS AND SCAMORZA CHEESE
Total preparation time: 30 minutes Baking time: 15-20 minutes Yields: 6 plum cakes
320 g (2 heaping cups) Italian flour grade 0 or all-purpose flour
250 g (9 oz) onions, finely chopped
60 g (½ cup) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
13 g (1 scarce tablespoon) baking powder
2 g (½ scarce teaspoon) baking soda
1 pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
120 g ( 4.3 oz) smoked scamorza cheese, finely chopped
2 medium eggs
200 ml (1 scarce cup) whole milk
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + some for the onions
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F) and set oven rack to middle position.
2. In a non-stick pan sautè the onions in a few tablespoons of olive olive. Remove when lightly brown and set aside
3. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (dry ingredients)
4. Whisk the eggs, milk and olive oil (wet ingredients) in another bowl
5. In a large bowl form a “volcano” (a mound with a hole in the center) with the flour and other dry ingredients, pour the mixture of the liquid ingredients in the center. Add the onions and scamorza, mix gently for a very short time to form the batter (it does not matter even if lumpy)
6. Grease and flour a mini plum cake mold (each plum cake form 6.5×10 cm, 2,5×4 inch). Pour the mixture with a spoon into a plum cake mold
7. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until the plum cakes have completely risen and the surface is golden brown
8. Leave to cool in the mold for approx. 5 minutes before removing. They are best when served slightly warm.
To store: remove them from the mold and let them cool on a wire rack. Store in a covered, ventilated container for cakes (max. 1-2 days). Before eating them, wrap them in aluminum foil and heat them in a warm oven for approx. 5-10 minutes or in the microwave (HIGH) for 20-30 seconds. You can also freeze them. Before serving, thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours or the fastest method is to heat them wrapped in aluminum foil in the oven at 180° C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes. They are certainly best eaten freshly baked on the day of preparation.
Note: It is very important not to mix the batter for a long time because this makes the plum cakes compact, certainly not as soft as they should be. Also stick to the quantities of baking powder and baking soda. Too much leavening agent causes excessive leavening with subsequent collapse of the dough. When the dry ingredients have been mixed with the wet ingredients, bake quickly because the baking powder starts to act instantaneously. – Paola
Chef Mimi says
I had a long discussion with Stefan a while back (StefanGourmet.com) about why these Italian cakes are called plum cakes! I made some with cherries, and they were still called plum cakes! But no plums! Great recipe. I’ve yet to taste scamorza = I need to get some!
Thanks for stopping by. In Italy scamorza cheese is a common cheese but I can imagine it is hard to find it abroad. You are right about the name. In Italy we use the name plum cake more because of the shape more than the ingredients. Actually, plum cake refers to a wide range of cakes made with either dried fruit (such as currants, raisins, or prunes) or with fresh fruit. There is a wide range of popular plum cakes and puddings. Since the meaning of the word “plum” has changed over time, many items referred to as plum cakes and popular in England since at least the eighteenth century have now become known as fruitcake. Happy cooking! Ciao, Paola