CSA Week 17 - Plum and Mascarpone Cake

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Purple Plum Torte.  Who am I to mess with a Deb recipe??  I know, it was a risk, but it super paid off, I promise.  The addition of mascarpone to this batter gives it a dense and moist crumb, almost like a pound cake?  The plums get super sweet and concentrated, and I was sorry I didn't pack the top with them more.  Learn from me!
I'd never had plums by themselves before, so at first I didn't know what to do with them.  I'm sure that seems silly to some of you, but seriously, this CSA has been eye-opening.  I now eat them just on their own, but this cake was a wonderful first foray into plums.  They do this amazing thing where they caramelize and merge with the cake into this moist bite of cake.  You might want to serve this alongside whipped cream, or sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.  I'm here to tell you that you need none of those things; I'm sure they wouldn't hurt the final outcome, but why mess with a good thing?
Those plums back there are about to get way elevated.  A simple cake and a simple fruit.  Perfect.
The cake rises up to meet the plums, the plums release their sweet juice into the cake... it's a match made in heaven.
I saved the rest of the cake for our OysterFest weekend (more on that soon!), but I absolutely devoured this slice.  It was for research!  I hope you make this cake soon, it would be a new welcome sight to your Thanksgiving spread, and I'm here to tell you that it freezes perfectly, so you could make and bake it now and save yourself the hassle later :-)
Plum and Mascarpone Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
serves 10-14 depending on slice size

8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided use
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
9-10 small ripe plums, halved and pitted
Preheat your oven to 350° F, and butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, or feel free to use baking spray, which is what I did.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the mascarpone, oil, and sugar together. Add one egg, mixing well, then add the other and mix again.

Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.  You don't want to overmix, otherwise your cake will be too dense.  You can fold in the dry ingredients if you are worried about overmixing.

Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it out evenly. Place the plums in the top of the cake, cut-side down. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the edges are pulling away from the pan, and a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the cake cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling on a rack.

Serve slightly warm, or at room temperature.

**This cake freezes well!  You can assemble and bake the cake ahead of time.  Let it cool completely before wrapping it well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.  Place in the refrigerator to thaw the day before, and be sure to remove it from the fridge to come to room temperature an hour or two before serving.**

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