Porta Nigra Black Plum Cake

The most famous Roman landmark in Trier has to be the Porta Nigra that was built during the period 180 AD to about 200 AD. Originally the gate consisted of 2 x round four-storied towers with a narrow piazza that separated the two outside gates on each side. The gate was never completed but despite this, it was used during the entire Roman period. The Porta Nigra (the black gate) guarded the northern entry to the city, the Porta Alba (the white gate) the east, the Porta Media (the middle gate ) the south, and the Porta Inclyta (the famous gate) in the west, next to the

Roman Bridge crossing the Mosel. The gates could be found at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Only the Porta Nigra still exists today.


  • 150g butter
  • 150g unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 75g cake flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 50g shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 16 plums, stoned and quartered


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
  • Line and grease the base of a square cake tin, with a piece of baking parchment.
  • In a food mixer, mix the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Break the eggs, beat them lightly with a fork, then add them bit by bit to the butter and sugar.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold them gently into the mixture.
  • Do this with a large metal spoon here, rather than the food mixer.
  • Fold in the ground almonds, the zest, the cardamom seeds and the sesame seeds.
  • Chop the walnuts so they are the size of small gravel and fold them in too.
  • Scrape the mixture into the lined cake tin.
  • Place the quartered plums on the cake mixture. There is no point in doing this with any real precision as they will sink into the cake as they cook.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes and when a skewer comes out clean, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 – 20 minutes.

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