This is a delicious recipe, and was fun to bake, despite the temperature in the kitchen being 90 degrees with very high humidity :-) It's a great use of summer fruit, and we ate ours with ice cream. I bet it would be good with other fruit as well. I am curious about the recommendation in the book to use bittersweet chocolate sauce instead - maybe next time.
The basic method is to make a brown-sugary butter cake batter and then put a surprisingly small amount of batter (2 heaping tablespoons!) into a dish, put a plum half cut-side up on top, and then sprinkle with more brown sugar before baking. They are served face up, so you can see the carmelized plum.
I was initially a little intimidated by the amount of effort required (it was Labor Day holiday, and consequently, I felt lazy :-), but once I watched the video, it seemed easier than I had initially thought by reading the recipe in the book.
This recipe makes 12 cakes - I had a patchwork of 10 little pans, so I made due with what I had. My mini square pans only hold 4 ounces volume, which is half that of the recipe's recommendation of 8-9 ounce custard cups. For those, I used a plum quarter instead of a half, and baked them for only about 12 minutes. Here are the pans with batter and plums, and before brown sugar sprinkling:
I put a bit more than the recommended amount of batter in the half-size pans, because I didn't have enough pans, and the batter rose up and covered the plum, which wasn't as pretty (but still delicious). Here is the result after baking.
They were slightly tricky to get out of the pan, as the fruit made them sticky, but since you serve them top side up, it was pretty easy to scoop out the remaining scraps from the pan and tuck them under the mini cake on the plate.