A Fig Plum Sheet Cake

Plum Fig Cake (03) by MeetaK

Weimar is beautifully situated in the lush green state of Thuringia. The Free State of Thuringia, as it is officially known, boasts of rolling hills, thick green forests and a lot of cultural history. It's pretty much like living in a vacation spot. For a passionate foodie, this state offers some very famous foods, well known beyond the German borders. I am talking about the perfectly spiced Thuringian Bratwurst (yes I know that bratwurst stand in the bottom picture - it's located at our Farmer's Market in front of the city hall) or those lovely Thuringian potato dumplings. But the most famous type of food Thuringia entices its tourists and residents with, is the unbelievable variety of sheet cakes.

Here in Thuringia sheet cakes are the epicenter of any good bakery. Every housewife has her secret and favorite recipe of preparing a special type of sheet cake. Sheet cakes grace breakfast tables, are the center of focus at the coffee table and party guests are served sweet sheet cakes as desserts after a satisfying meal.

There are two basic types of sheet cakes here - the "dry" and the "wet" variety. Under the "dry" sheet cakes you will find the famous streusel cakes while quark, pudding and fruit provide the moisture in the "wet" types of sheet cakes.

Savory and hearty sheet cakes have a base made out of bread dough and onions and bacon are used as toppings. These sheet cakes are served warm as a quick snack with a cool refreshing glass of beer.

It was in the late 1700s when the Duchess Anna Amalia, often entertained guests like Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Christoph Martin Wieland and Gottfried Herder in her Wittumspalais in Weimar. At her famous tea parties, her personal cook, François Le Goullon was able to display his incredible talent for cakes and sweets. Besides lovely French pastries these distinguished guests were served some of the most delectable sheet cakes ever. Le Goullon penned down his experience from these tea parties in a book "Der elegante Theetisch", unfortunately available only in German, but an incredibly captivating read.

At these tea parties, the newest works of Goethe, Schiller and co. were read, they discussed the current academic issues, they painted and made music throughout the afternoon and into the late evenings.

Fig Plum Diptych (01) by MeetaK

Sigh! I live in the wrong era.

The magic of Weimar, however captivates me and I love having my own tea parties. After a long rejuvenating walk in the Autumn cool, we return to the warmth of our home, where steaming pots of spiced tea and delicious slices of sheet cake are devoured. Conversations of books, music and the current economic situation dominate our discussions. I record my own thoughts and experience on my blog - hopefully a good read!

Figs and plums adorn my sheet cake. They are laid on a base made of flour, quark and oil producing a tangy and super smooth dough. Finally topped with pistachios and honey this is probably not a traditional Thuringian recipe but it sure is a delicious way to enjoy a sheet cake.

Plum Fig Cake (02) by MeetaK

Fig Plum Sheet Cake

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

The Dough

300g quark
12 tablespoons oil
500g flour
150g fine sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons baking powder

The Topping

1 kg plums, pitted and quartered
5-7 ripe figs, quartered
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
50 - 60g pistachios, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons Acacia honey

Method

In a large bowl rashly mix all the ingredients for the dough with the hook attachment of your hand or stand mixer into a smooth dough. Allow to rest for 15 - 20 minutes.

Line a baking sheet 40 x 25 cm) with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.

In the meantime macerate the figs in lemon juice.

On a floured countertop roll out the dough to the size of the baking sheet. Lift the dough and place on the baking sheet. Using your fingers spread out to the edges of the sheet.

Lay the fig and plum quarters on the dough and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake the cake for 45 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven. Approx. 15 minutes before the end of the baking time add the pistachios, then bake for the final 15 minutes.

Take the cake out of the oven and allow to slightly cool, then drizzle the honey over the fruit. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla flavored whipped cream.

 


Verdict

Plum Fig Cake (04) by MeetaK

I do not have the famous four - Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Wieland - over for tea and cake, but something tells me they might just take a liking to this cake.

The quark-oil dough is a popular type of dough prepared here in Germany. The quark keeps the dough moist and the oil gives it a silken texture. The fruit - well figs and plums are the hottest pairing for me this autumn. The sugar sprinkled on top of the fruit caramelizes in the oven, the juices become syrupy and soak into the dough spreading the fruity flavor throughout the dough. Finally - pistachios not only add that extravagant flair of color but by roasting in the oven for the last 15 minutes it brings out the sensational nutty flavor. Honey adds an extra touch of elegance.

May I offer you some tea with your slice?

This weekend Weimar is having its annual Onion Market festival. Every year a city run accompanies the festival. Although Tom runs every year, this year is special - Soeren will be running for the first time. He'll be doing the 600 m run and we are all excited. Wish us luck!

You might like these cakes from WFLH:

ChocolateCake01 Chocoholic's Chocolate Cake
FruitCake 04 x Dundee Fruit Cake
CranberryUpsideDown3 Cranberry Upside-Downer
Persimmon Spice Cake - Slice Persimmon Spice Cake

From around the blogs:

 

Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:

 


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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33 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. Gorgeous pictures!

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  2. That looks insanely beautiful! The pistachios just pop the whole dish out... Your pics are breath taking...

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  3. Absolutely Delicious,I wish I were there when you served the cake.

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  4. Stunning pictures! What a lovely tradition... This is so my type of dessert. I will have to try it before the figs disappear from the market.

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  5. hi meeta

    i've been browsing your blog the whole days and i have one word..wow!
    I've always wanted to start a food blog because i am so passionate about food and i did just that a about 4 days ago. finding your blog has been a god send. I am so inspire to make my dream come true. you'll see more of me :) and now it's time to try one of your recipes.

    regards
    A

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  6. Thanks for giving us all the historical information. I love combining recipes with historical facts. Your cake sheet looks fantastic.

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  7. Gorgeous cake and interesting facts. All ther best for the run :-)

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  8. a lovely recipe! And a good idea with the quark-öl teig. I am always so fixed about hefe teig, which I'm honestly not so fond of. Have to try this version.

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  9. Yes please for me two slices with my spicy chai.

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  10. wow it so tempting and mouthwatering Meeta.. wonderful.

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  11. Sorry, but I'm FAR too captivated and awestruck by that cake to properly articulate anything else right now, haha - you MUST come visit and make some of that for me!! I'll make something for you in return, no worries :0)

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  12. Your fig and plum sheet cake looks absolutely scrumptious. Although I cannot eat plums, I LOVE figs and have to add recipe to my collection of fig cakes.

    Amazing photos!

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  13. this looks very very beautiful Meeta! didn't know about Quark, but figs and plum make a winning combo! as I write this, I have a fig and date cake being baked in my oven!:)

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  14. What a beautiful cake! And I'm intrigued by the savory sheet cake - I've never heard of that before!

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  15. my mouth's watering meeta seeing that delicoius looking cake....hmmmm when r u inviting me for tea?:-)

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  16. Meeta, I haven't baked a sheet cake in ages! And figs would be a wonderful touch, since I love them.

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  17. Gorgeous cake and interesting combo of fig and plum!

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  18. thanks for your comments!

    glad you are enjoying the recipe. figs and plums are a great combo and the base here really holds up well. hope you'#l be back to let me know how it went!

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  19. I love the way you explained the history of this cake! I am sort of a history buff but if it is related to food, I'd be more buffed.

    Oh yes, of course, please. I would love a slice with my tea!

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  20. Your photography is breath taking. It's just lovely!

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  21. That is a seriously beautiful cake you have going on there Meeta.

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  22. That's a lovely cake, Meeta...
    I've got a surprise for U at http://ramya65.blogspot.com/2008/10/butterfly-award.html.
    Have a gr8 day!

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  23. Thanks for the feedback! I too love history food facts. Weimar is the perfect place for such great stories and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to share this with you.

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  24. Oh wow, this looks fantastic! So, so beautiful. I've never cooked/baked with figs before but I might have to start!

    Sues

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  25. I love the background information about sheet cakes and Thuringia. And your photos are beautiful, as always!

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  26. Wow - what gorgeous colours. I could just dive right in with my fork!

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  27. this looks wonderful meeta - just my kinda cake!

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  28. I'm a huge fan of the flavors fruit develop once they're baked!! (of course, I'm also a fan of the pistachios, the honey, and I just know that I'll be a fan of the quark once I try your recipe at home).

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  29. That fig and plum cake looks so good!

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  30. Hi Meeta,

    The cake looks wonderful. The beautiful pictures makes me want to try out this recipe soon. But we don't get figs and plums at this time of the year where I live. Do you think the sheet cake will turn out well if we use any other fruit?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

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  31. Sues - yes you have to cook with figs! it's decadent and delicious!

    Shari - thanks so much. I too love finding and researching about historical facts!

    Cake Crusader, Abby - thanks!

    Tony - lol! the fruit juices soaking into the base is divine and pistachios yes - i knew you would like them!

    Kevin, thanks!

    Sarah, yes you can! give it a try with pears or apples. If these are too hard you might have to cook them for a little while but this would work well with both. I am not too sure where you are but I can also imagine this with pineapples and mangoes. Let me know how it went!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta