I needed some fuel to keep me going, and a few minutes to take the weight of my exploding feet, while I was at an exhibition in Hamburg last week, the largest in the world for this industry. A quiet moment outside the frantic and manic exhibition confines, with a piece of this softly, cakey, slightly tart, tart;  and a mint tea, proved very restorative.

If you are indulging at home, then you could watch this (at the bottom of this post) gorgeous performance from the Nutcracker of The Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy.


Recipe for German plum and walnut tart


  • 140g/1 cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 120ml/½ cup vegetable oil plus a little for oiling the cake tin
  • 50g/2 oz/about four tbsps cottage cheese
  • 50g/2 oz/about four tbsps golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps ready-made red fruit compote (Bonne Maman cherry is good)
  • 2 tbsps chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 300g/10oz or about 5 plums
  • 3 knobs/3 tbsps/30g butter
  • 1 level tsp vanilla paste
  • pinch of powdered cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  2. Oil a 20 cm/4″ springform cake tin.
  3. Mix 100g (about two-thirds of a cup) of flour with the baking powder, oil, cottage cheese, and 25g of the sugar.
  4. Press the dough down on the bottom and around the sides of the cake tin.
  5. Sprinkle on half the chopped nuts.
  6. Wash the plums, stone and quarter them, and dot them around on top of the dough together with the fruit compôte.
  7. Mix the remaining flour with the sugar, the butter, the rest of the chopped nuts and the cinnamon and dot around on top of the plums.
  8. Cook in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes.


Music to cook to

The Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy – Nina Kaptsova of the Bolshoi is the ballerina: