Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Prune and Whisky Cake

I'm not sure if I can convey how wonderful this cake is. It's amazingly moist, with a great springy texture and the glaze makes it glamourous and just sticky enough. Plus, springing out of my excellent new bundt/kugelhupf tin it looks amazing.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did have a few problems with people who have weird issues about prunes. I blame those bad American college movies where they make prune/laxative jokes. But I really doubt prunes have any more dietary effects than dried apricots - they just got a weird reputation. Anyway, maybe you should tell people it's a plum and whisky cake. Half the people at the party I took this to didn't even know that prunes are dried plums. Although maybe it's better to tell everyone what's in it and then there's more cake for those who don't have such stupid prejudices.

With that disclaimer done, may I heartily encourage you to make this cake - it is just so damn good and mine turned out perfectly risen and formed with very little effort.

Prune and Whisky Cake
(adapted from the excellent Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts)

For the cake you'll need:

  • 2 cups pitted prunes
  • 0.25 cup scotch whisky
  • 2 cups water
  • 0.75 cup vegie oil
  • 1.5 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2.75 cups unbleached white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 0.5 tsp ground cardamon
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used sour cream thinned with milk because that's what I had)
For the glaze you need:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 cup more scotch
  • 0.25 cup liquid from the prune cooking
In a small saucepan, combine the prunes, whisky and water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the prunes are very tender. Drain, keeping the liquid. Coarsely chop the prunes and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the oil and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and other dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture the batter, beating until well blended. Pour in the buttermilk and beat until just smooth. Fold in the chopped prunes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for at least an hour (mine took 15 minutes more). If you stick a knife in it should come out clean. Now cool the cake in a pan for 10 minutes. Then invert onto a serving platter and cool for 15 minutes more - still in the tin. Then remove the pan.

To make the glaze - combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Pierce the top of the cake with a skewer or toothpick in 10 places. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, allowing it to soak in.

Serve to ooohs and aaahs. (with or without mentioning what's in it.)


Clare Eats said...

Hi Esther,
that cake sounds great! I never had a problem with eating prunes, probably because my mum gave them to us to eat before I heard the laxative joke. I used to eat way too many and only ever gave my self a belly ache (oooh)

I so need to fix my oven! so I can bake cakes, it is driving me nuts!

Niki said...

Ooooh, ahhh! :-)
No, seriously that sounds like a fantastic cake, and perhaps a good way to use up some of the packet of prunes I've had in the fridge for far too long. I love the use of ground cloves and cardamom - I'm going through a bit of a spice fixation at the moment, so it sounds doubly attractive.

Sue said...

Hi Esther,

My best thing I ever made was a chocolate souffle cake with prune mousse filling...OMG it was good.

You're right - Americans are weird about prunes. It is like after all the jokes they can't even taste them without thinking of old people and poop.

But as I always say "That just leaves more for me."

esther said...

Sue, that cake sounds entirely awesome... any chance of a recipe?

Chocolate and prunes go so so well together.

LR said...

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