I am not a massive prune fan. My mother used to eat these wrinkled up looking grapes every day, my uncle soaks it in boiling water, throws the prunes away and then just drinks the water. I buy them, but they never manage to make it into my tummy.
I have across the recipe every time I open Ree Drummonds cookbook, of course every time I see the word prune in the heading, I just turn the page.
This past weekend, I was lazy and the heat was killing me to stand in front of the oven and baking baking and baking, so instead of baking, I decided to page through Ree’s book for Sunday lunch inspiration when I came across the prune cake recipe again.
Oh what the nuts, I might as well read through it. Boy oh boy was I surprised, this cake seemed super easy to make and the fun part was that I wouldn’t have to spend my Saturday baking. After Sunday lunch, I could pop the cake in the oven to bake and them immediately pour the sauce over and as soon as everyone was ready for cake , I could cut them a piece with a dollop of custard.
No back breaking whipping buttercream icing and seriously no cleaning of dried icing off every possible surface in the kitchen.
This recipe was a little bit confusing in the beginning, I will not lie. One of the ingredients was prunes and to get these prunes soft, it had to be boiled. Ree never said if the prunes should be fresh or the dried ones you find in the baking isle. I opted for the fresh stuff and well I was wrong. The boiling stage, caused the skin to fall off and the flesh to float to the top of the water…I was frustrated and ready to turn the page to try out another recipe when I saw a picture of the prunes boiling in the water and guess what… the prunes to be used were the dried up ones you find in the baking isle.
Couldn’t she have stated that. It would have saved me fighting off some old lady to buy the last punnet of fresh prunes and for what, it landed up in the bin anyway and demanded that I go to Spar first thing Sunday morning, without coffee in my system, I must have looked so sexy I tell you, I wonder who was sexier me or the prunes? Let’s hope Spar’s CCTV was malfunctioning.
The original recipe of Ree’s contained eggs, I converted it into a eggless vegan one so that my mother could enjoy it.
Before I give the verdict let me just one thing, when making the icing, I tried to take a short cut by not sifting the icing sugar, I mean the icing sugar was going to be mixed into a liquid substance, what harm could that do??? I was wrong, a lot of harm apparently. The icing sugar, still seemed to have formed clumps in the liquid, so I had to start again and then I had to start again, because I took my eye of the boiling icing and it erupted all over the clean stove top, sticky liquid everywhere and even on the hot stove ring. Nothing smells better than burning caramel on a hot ring. Cleaning , once it has cooled is another nightmare.
Ingredients for the batter:
- 1 x cup dried prunes.
- 1 ½ x cups cake flour, sifted.
- 1 x tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- 1 x tsp nutmeg powder.
- 1 x tsp cinnamon powder.
- 1 x tsp allspice powder.
- 1 x cup castor sugar.
- 3 x vegan eggs ( 3 x tbsp. crushed flax seed mixing with 9 x tbsp. boiling water, mixed and left to stand for 15 minutes).
- 1 x cup oil.
- 1 x tsp vanilla essence.
- 1 x cup buttermilk.
Method for the batter:
- boil prunes in water till soft.
- Drain the water and using a masher, mash the prunes till soft.
- In a bowl, mix the cake flour, bicarbonate of soda, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and all spice powder together.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vegan egg and vanilla essence.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk.
- Add the buttermilk and whisk till combined.
- Fold in the prunes till evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Pour into a greased square cake tin.
- Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 30- 40 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. The cake soft still be soft and bouncy to the touch.
- Immediately pour the icing over the cake and allow the icing to seep into the cake before serving.
Ingredients for the icing:
- 1 x cup icing sugar, sifted.
- ½ x cup buttermilk.
- 55g x butter.
- ½ x tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- 1 x tbsp. corn syrup.
- ½ x tsp vanilla essence.
Method for the icing:
- Place everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Allow the mixture to boil till lightly golden brown in colour.