Tomorrow morning I’m heading off to the Big Chill Festival. Despite this being my 5th year of attendance, the annual ritual of packing far too much and jaunting off to a field in the middle of rural Herefordshire still hasn’t lost it’s excitement! Earlier today I wrote a Facebook status about the fact that I’ve stocked up with 2 litres of booze, tonic water, limes, bin bags, wet wipes, wellies, a selection of hats and a big fur coat and asking…’what more could you want for the perfect festival experience!?’ the answer, of course…home baked goodies to sustain the (possibly) soggy campers!
The logistics of carrying these baked goods was at the forefront of my mind so cupcakes or anything too fragile were instantly ruled out. I decided the flatter the cake the better and googled ‘tray bakes’. Waitrose came up trumps with what I have now deemed to be perfect festival fodder…
200g tub cream cheese
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp caster sugar
4 medium eggs
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g dark muscovado sugar
200g self-raising flour
400g ripe plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm shallow baking tray making sure that the paper comes up higher than the rim of the tin.
Beat the cream cheese, vanilla extract, caster sugar and one of the eggs together until smooth.
In another bowl beat together the remaining eggs, butter, muscovado sugar and flour.
Now comes the assembling part…spread half the creamed flour mixture onto the base of the lined tray, dollop half the cream cheese mixture on top and swirl it around to create a marbled effect. Scatter over half of the plums. Then spread over the remaining flour mixture and dot with the last of the cream cheese mixture before topping with the plums.
Bake for 40/45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into approx 10 pieces (I need mine to stretch to 14 so that I don’t leave any of my friends wanting!).
This photo makes it look a bit overcooked but inside it looks just right…
The smell coming from the oven as it was baking was mouthwateringly divine…if this cake lasts until tomorrow without being devoured by either me or my housemates it’ll be a pure miracle!
And then there’s the issue of whether it can survive being packed into tupperware to endure a long car journey and whether it’ll still be edible after being dragged along on a trolley on the trek from the car park to the campsite! By which point I will probably be hungry enough to eat my own arm and will most definitely have earned myself a slice!