Some Roasted Plums, Coconut Milk Risotto and Muscovado Cakes

Last week, I had to deal with some unexpected (arent’t they all?) health issues, which forced me into a blog hiatus and necessary rest. It was nothing serious, but enough to stop me from baking and shooting as much. Sometimes life has funny ways of making us slow down even if it’s against our own will. I appreciate all the concerned emails wondering if something had happened or if I had gone into premature labor. All is well and just excited for the new season.

We received a big box of plums as a gift and have been enjoying them everyday. Purple, red, yellow pluots, prune plums… a beautiful assortment. It seems like every year plums mark the end of summer for me and the excitement for the new season begins.

I have been living vicariously through everyone else who gets to go apple picking and visiting orchards this time of year as we have none around us. But even that is exciting enough right now.

I have been baking with muscovado sugar a lot lately. It adds a richness and moistness to cakes and cookies that is hard to get any other way. No wonder it is called “moist sugar”! And even though I have never liked sugar in my coffee, I even started putting some muscovado in my morning dose following Ashley’s advice.

The roasted plum and muscovado mini cakes are moist and rich with a touch of sour cream and lemon, but also unexpectedly light. We served these for friends during a play date on a rainy afternoon.

The coconut milk risotto is a slight variation on my arroz con leche recipe that I make all the time. It is much lighter, a bit less sweet and much faster to cook. I served it with the warm roasted plums, red currants and a sprinkle of pink peppercorns. My new favorite.

Coconut Milk Risotto

500 ml whole milk
20 grams sugar
pinch of salt
10 grams butter
60 grams arborio rice
120 grams coconut milk

In a saucepan, warm the whole milk, sugar and pinch of salt over a medium heat.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the rice to it and sautee it for about a minute. Add about half of the warm milk and stir over medium heat. Let it bring to a light simmer and then reduce the heat if necessary. Cook the rice in the milk while constantly stirring. When that milk has reduced, add a little bit more of the remaining warm milk and continue stirring. Proceed like that until all the milk has been added and the rice is cooked, which will take about 20-25 minutes. (Note that if you have added all the milk but the rice still not tender, you may add extra just to finish cooking it).

Finish the cooking process with the coconut milk. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the risotto into a bowl to chill. I like mine at room temperature but you might store it in the refrigerator.

Roasted Plums

4 plums
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
pink peppercorns
star anise
Juice of half an orange
musvocado sugar, some for roasting and some for sprinkling at the end

Cut the plums in half and remove the pit. Place them on a roasting dish. Add the star anise, pink peppercorn, vanilla bean, orange juice and sprinkle each half plum with muscovado sugar.

Bake the plums at 350F for about 30-40 minutes until tender.

Cut them into wedges and serve them on top of the coconut milk risotto accompanied by some red currants, muscovado sugar and pink peppercorns.

Roasted Plum and Muscavado Sugar Cakes

Makes a dozen 3 inch mini cakes

180 grams butter, room temperature
150 grams muscovado sugar
125 grams granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
180 grams sour cream
180 grams flour
4 grams baking powder
6 plums
muscovado sugar for sprinkling

Cream butter, muscovado sugar, granulated sugar, lemon zest and vanilla together until light. Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl well. Add the sour cream and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until batter comes together.

Lightly butter and flour mini cake molds (I used tart rings that are 3″x1″). Pipe the batter into the molds. Place thin slices of plum on top and sprinkle with some more muscovado sugar.

Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Wait until slightly cool to unmold them.


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75 Responses to “Some Roasted Plums, Coconut Milk Risotto and Muscovado Cakes”

  1. Claire says:

    I am going to make the coconut risotto tonight! It looks lovely. We love risotto, and coconut rice too so sounds like a winner. Thanks for posting. Beautiful photos, as ever.

  2. Dominique says:

    Me too! I’ll make the risotto first, and tomorow I’ll buy some plums to make the other recipes. Thank you Aran, your pictures are wonderful!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Your photos are always sheer perfection. Thanks for the inspiring recipes for those autumn evenings. The risotto is so pretty and those cakes just adorable. I’ve always had a fondness for muscovado – it’s so versatile nd it’s nice to meet another fan.

  4. I love plums/prunes! Both desserts look fantastic and so do your pictures!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. That coconut risotto with the roasted plums sounds deliciously perfect, Aran..! You’ve inspired me, and I want to try my hand at it! And with the plums… my mouth is watering! (7:30 in the morning here by the way!)
    And I’m glad to hear that you and baby are well. I guess these kinds of things are Nature’s way of gently reminding us to slow down… So relieved to hear everyone is all right.
    -maria

  6. icicle says:

    Beautiful light, beautiful fruit. My daughter doesn’t like most carbs but will eat rice. I’m thinking a sweetened rice risotto might just meet with her approval.
    Have a seat, put your feet up and remember to take care of your self too. The baking will always be there later.

  7. Hope you’re feeling much better Aran. Gosh that risotto & those plums look absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful fruit & awesome pictures!

  8. Tony says:

    this sounded great when I read about it at 3am and it looks even more delicious! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. So glad all is well with your health. I’m sure no-one minds blog hiatus’.
    Your health and that of your family will always come first.
    I must try the cakes! They look wonderful. I guess I could use things other than plums too couldnt I. Cheers! Irene x

  10. tara says:

    So glad to hear to have you back, and Ashley’s got me on the muscovado in the morning routine as well.

    Right now, my husband is at the market – he just got a call to add plums and coconut milk to his list. These look divine.

  11. Mélanie says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, and that it was not something too serious. This looks delicious. I’ve just bought 2 kg quetsches (small purple prunes?), do you think it could work too?
    And I have never seen muscovado sugar in France. It’s probably called something else that i don’t know… Can I use brown sugar instead?

  12. Aran says:

    melanie- yes, you could use any fruit you’d like actually. you could use brown sugar but i am sure there is muscovado in France because i find it in Spain. i found a link here http://www.bienmanger.com/1F1118_Sucre_Roux_Canne_Muscovado_Ile_Maurice.html

    thanks everyone! hope you are enjoying your sunday!

  13. Dajda says:

    I love plums! All those sweet things look delightful.

  14. Hilda says:

    So lovely Aran, as always. I went a little mad at the French grocery yesterday and bought greengages, damson plums and my favorite mirabelles to make tarts and clafoutis. I will definitely have to try your recipe soon and coconut risotto sounds utterly delicious.

  15. Welcome back, I’m glad you’re doing well. The pictures look gorgeous. Plums are one of those fruits that are rare enough in one’s diet that you can really enjoy them when they are around. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. anna says:

    Oh, I’ve been meaning to dry “dessert” risotto. This sounds like an incredible combination! Must buy plums…

  17. Nirvana says:

    These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Hope you are feeling better :)

  18. glad you re feeling well now . These cakes look so good!

  19. yum! I never know what to do with plums because there usually bitter in desserts but tis looks good, i may have to give it a try.

  20. So sorry to hear about that, Aran. I really hope you are doing better and that all is well.

    Wish I had plums on my tree this year…

  21. Erika says:

    Aran:
    Me alegro de corazón que tus cosas anden bien. Y es así, cuando nosotoras creemos que podemos TODO algo nos avisa que bajemos la velocidad.
    Por aquí no se escucha este tipo de azúcar pero sí hay una integral que tiene un sabor distinto como tirando a caramelo levemente amargo. Tiene algunos granos más oscuros que otros , es más rústica que la rubia. Creo que con esa puede funcionar.
    Cariños y cuidate.

  22. Beautiful fresh plums to start Spring here in Melbourne. Never tried Muscovado cakes, but that sounds just great, creamy and meltsi in your mouth kinda-feeling is it? Great shots to start my day!

  23. Anh says:

    One of you best posts yet! No fancy ingredients, just honest and tasty seasonal dessert and cake. Pure love!

  24. I’m glad you’re feeling better – health issues are never good.
    Roasting plums though? I only have a few left from the container I bought yesterday, but if they last long enough I might make those little cakes…

  25. corine says:

    This is what you can produce when you have health issues? In my home, I sneeze and we pick up Mcdonalds.

    Feel better!

  26. Hope you’re feeling better , Aran! I’m sending some blogger love your way. The post is beautiful, as always. I so love plums.

  27. I am always looking for new ways to jazz up risotto and this combo sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  28. me encanta trabajar ocn la azucar muscovado, tiene un sabor a especias y a madera riquisimo! me alegro de que ya estes mejor y que no haya sido nada,

    el rissoto de coco tiene una pinta increible, las fotos geniales!

    besitos,

    pity

  29. nadia says:

    this looks so beautiful, i adore plums! i must try the coconut risotto. oh how i wish my grandma was alive, she would love this!

  30. Ana says:

    Hola guapa!!Espero que estés recuperada de tus problemas de salud y espero que no te hayan dado mas molestias de las necesarias… de todas maneras..ya queda menos, no??

    Y que decir de tus pequeños cakes de ese azúcar tan rico… Sinceramente me quedo con el rissotto, es que tengo predilección por este tipo de postres. Cuando hago arroz con leche lo que hago es hacerlo con mitad leche de coco y mitad normal, pero nunca se me había ocurrido hacerlo como si fuera un rissotto, tomo buena nota de tu idea…

    Descansa, recupérate al 100%, sigue deleitándonos con tus maravillas y dale un besazo a Jon!!

    Besos!!

  31. Anita says:

    The coconut risotto looks like a “must-try”…. beautiful photos too!

  32. Such beautiful photography! and they look so very yummy! I want those roasted plums! Have a sweet day! x

  33. montague says:

    everything you make looks so beautiful and mouthwatering…

  34. cindy* says:

    glad that you are feeling better aran!

    yum…i love roasted plums!

  35. Suzana says:

    Brilliant, Aran! It’s always so refreshing to come here and check what you’ve been baking. I’m very much into muscovado sugar too – can’t wait to hear what more you’ve been doing with it. :)

  36. Lorena says:

    Tus delicias son poesía para mis sentidos.
    La presentación de tus platos, la mezcla de colores asi como la iluminación son impecables.
    Preciosas fotos, Aran.

  37. Hope you are well and please take good care.

    Honestly, one of my favorite gifts is fresh fruit. Your plums look mouth watering. About a week ago I happened to find a bag of muscovado sugar that I’d completely forgotten about and your gorgeous cakes will be just the thing for me!

  38. Vera says:

    Aran, I hope you are feeling better now! The desserts look fabulous!

  39. Aran says:

    Thanks everyone for your well wishes and I hope you try the recipes. So simple!

  40. Zerogluten says:

    Aran, me alegra una barbaridad, verte así de plena y de bien. Me encantó saber que estás bien e ilusionada con tu nuevo estado. Supongo que esto se deja ver en la cocina, tu cocina, que se llena de cosas frescas y apetitosas.
    Te mando un beso fuerte y mis felicitaciones por tus maravillosas recetas que nos ofreces siempre a través de imágenes fabulosas.

  41. Swee San says:

    i love your photos ! They’re amazing

  42. fresh365 says:

    Glad you are feeling better! I have sort of overlooked plums this year, but this is making me rethink that! Great photos!

  43. wow those cakes look fantastic! Such artistry in your food photography! So delicate and appetising!

  44. ibb says:

    Aran, espero diat ezer ez izatea, soilik gorputzak denbora lasai behar hori.
    Osaben sagarrondoak bizitatzen joan beharko diat, eta batzuk ostu.

    Udazkena arin heldu da honera. Gutxienez zure argazki koloretzuak ditugu.

    Eta udazkenarekin denbora hobea…eta libururenbaten erreseta guztiak batuko balituzu? Izugarrizko arrakasta izango zan. Eta hemen be seguru asko izango zukeela.

  45. Aran says:

    Fresh365- I haven’t baked with plums much this year either but I had to this time. We had so many and they were so juicy..

    Ibb- Guk udazkena igerten hasteko beste hilebete pare bat dekogu aurretik… pufff… beroagaz kokoterarte gauz! Nire osaban sagarondo azpien egotea gurago dot nik!

    Thanks everyone!

  46. Looks so yum!!! Wish I could taste it!

    Photography and food styling are superb!

  47. Seanna Lea says:

    I love the coconut risotto. I will have to make some as soon as I get to the grocery for more milk!

  48. It’s a lovely feeling of eternal summer! I hope you have leftovers for moi!

  49. Inés says:

    Aran, joan den asteburuan zure amarekin lotu nintzen Zornotzan. Justo berak esan zidan sarrera berri bat egin zenuela. Eta honako hau: beti bezala ederra eta fin. Nik dieta bat hasi berri dut eta ez naiz sartuko bukatu arte, bestela negar egingo dut zure agazkiak ikusterakoan…dena dela oso ondo izan eta dena ondo joango zaizulakoan muxu haundi bat Bilbotik.

  50. silvia says:

    WoW….your photos are fantastic!!Your blog’s beautiful!!!

  51. Nicisme says:

    I know I can always come here for the best sugar fix on the net – thanks so much Aran!

  52. BRAVO. you have one of the most beautiful blogs i have ever come across…i will love following you..
    have a lovely week… x pam

  53. Aran says:

    Thanks again everyone! I appreciate all the lovely comments!

  54. idu says:

    Kaixo Aran, pozten naiz ondo zaudela jakiteaz. Hemen jada aranak ez dira erraz aurkitzen,, gaur jertsea jantzita ere fresko egiten du, udazkena ate joka ari da. Orain gaztaina eta onddoekin pentsatzen hasi beharko dugu ( aurten onddoek jai hartu duela emanten duen arren!)
    Zaindu eta muxu haundi bat

  55. Dory says:

    Where can one find muscavado sugar?

    Thanks, Aran!

  56. Aran says:

    Idu- gustora jantziko neuke jake bat ointxe bertan… hemengo beroagaz nekatute gauz. ia onddorik topetan dozuen… hmm… tortillan, ze gozo!

    Dory- you can find it at specialty stores like sur la table, williams-sonoma, whole foods… you can probably order it online also.

    Thank you!

  57. Hola Aran, “cannelle et vanille” con ese nombre era imposible que tu blog me pasara desapercibido, son las esencias a las que huele mi casa… Tu trabajo es muy especial y delicado, la presentación del portafolio, el blog, las fotografías, y que decir de los postres… todo me ha parecido magnífico. Te he incluido en mi base de datos, así que te habrá llegado mi portafolio personal que acabo de estrenar. Me presento, soy Luna, una diseñadora con vocación de pintora. A bear hug from Basque Country. http://deluna.es/

  58. Heidi says:

    Swoon!

    These photos are amazing as ever and the recipes sound divine.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  59. Greg McNaught says:

    This looks amazing!! I love the taste of coconut milk in so many things.

    Thanks for the post!

    If you’re looking for a good wine to go with that desert check out this Chris guy’s website. He’s really easy to understand. He has a great personality too – I actually keep going back! http://pardonthatvine.com

    Thanks again for the article. Great photos too!

  60. sphan says:

    you are beyond talented. i really love and enjoy your art and style. thank you for being such an inspiration….

  61. JMo says:

    Sorry to hear about your health issues, I pray you are making a speedy recovery and feeling back to 100% in no time!
    I love the post on plums. I have been on such a plum kick lately and you have give me some great ideas on what to try out next. Coconut risotto?! OH MY! Sounds so rich, I just cant wait to try.

    Thanks for the post!
    http://www.justchowbella.com

  62. Hope you are feeling better. The treats look great! Beautiful…

  63. stephanie says:

    Bonjour
    Ce blog est magnifique. Les photos donnent envie de cuisiner et surtout de manger. Je suis totallement adict et il est dans mes favoris sur mon blog.

  64. *emilie* says:

    oh my !!! amaaaaazing blog, wonderful recipes.. how come it took me so long to find it ??? thank you !

  65. As always, great post. I am also very excited to see that your collaboration with Sunday Suppers has blossomed into a great partnership. The desserts you did for them looked amazing.

  66. I love the flavour combinations going on here and as always your photography is inspirational.

  67. veron says:

    Oh God! This is torture! Looks so good!

  68. Esti says:

    La foto con tus manos es preciosa.

  69. rachel says:

    Wow! This looks extra incredible :)

  70. baby crib says:

    Thanks for the recipes! I would love to try the risotto! Looks delicious and I think my friends will love it!

  71. i love baking with plums, and these little cakes look just delicious! glad to hear all is well!!

  72. I found a few this morning, grabbed them & raced home to make these. Hvn’t had them as yet, but they look gorgeous! Thank you for the recipe!

  73. I finally got around to making the coconut risotto, Aran, and with the 1st spoonful I was besotted! It is truly divine and I (over the course of 3 sessions) ate it all myself. Can’t wait until Autumn so I can include some plums from our little plum tree too. Will be making this again soon.

  74. Anonymous says:

    So do I roast the plums before placing
    Them on the cake batter?

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