Monday, April 7, 2014

The Red Apron's Prune & Walnut Cake

My cousins and I grew up eating prunes like it is candy.
as a little girl, I thought prunes were candy!
What are prunes?
In earlier times a prune and a plum meant the fresh fruit.
a prune is the dried version of the European plum.
Plums and prunes are one and the same.
Prunes have high content of unique phytonutrients
 called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid,
these are classified as phenols, 
with their function as antioxidant is well documented.
Prunes' fiber is known to help with regularity, intestinal protection, 
and the propionic acid produced from prunes' insoluble fiber 
may also be partly responsible lowering cholesterol.
My Aunt makes delicious cakes,
and one of the fam's fave is her Prune Cake.
I've tasted some prune cake recipes covered in glaze 
from famous chefs and famous cooks
and they are just too sweet to my liking.
With my recipe I have 2 ways in making this delicious cake.
One by mashing the prunes to hide it from the kids,
and the second one is my adult version, by adding walnuts,
 and just slicing the prunes in quarters for a good bite.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups prunes, cut in quarters (see note for a kid-friendly cake)
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (divide - 1/2 cup set aside for topping)
Whipped Topping:
2 cups whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Toast 1/2 cup walnuts in a pan. set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Grease 3 - 6" round cake pan or 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Add in buttermilk and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
  • Stir in prunes and 1 cup walnuts.
  • Pour into prepared baking pan(s).
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool.
  • Spread whipped topping onto the cake, and sprinkle toasted walnuts.
Whipped Topping:
  • Place mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Place all ingredients in the cold bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.
If your kids are like mine,
and they know it's a prune cake they will immediately say
 "I don't like it!"
So here's my kid friendly version:
Place prunes in a small sauce pan.
Cover with water, boil for 8-10 minutes or until mashable.
Drain water, and mash prunes.
Or for a "no trace version" place prunes in the food processor and pulse until pureed.
Stir in to the mixture and bake.


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