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It isn't often that one can arrive at such a fundamentally beautiful, large, imposing, and well... magnificent cake, while having so few steps involved. And yet this cake requires very little: just mixing ingredients together, a perfunctory cooking of prunes, and spreading cream over the cake, and voilà, a superb achievement. Without the cream, the cake, sortied from its bundt or tube pan, already looks imposing and elegant, but the addition of the white cream studded with the occasional prune further improves it. The cream has a fascinating tangy nature to it provided by the lemon juice or vinegar and cream cheese, which is tempered with the large amounts of sugar, complemented by powdered sugar, and serves as a superb crowning achievement for the cake's body itself. For a formal dinner occasion or for simply enjoying the fruits of decadence, this cake begs to be made!
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I have adopted and modified this recipe from Dungeness Crabs and Blackberry Cobbler by Janie Hibler. In my opinion, it is a quite good cookbook, although it isn't that uncommon that recipes require some modifications, such as a pork chop recipe I made with it which required adjustment to seasoning and to cooking time, or in this where I added various ingredients to change the cake's consistency (and admittedly, to deal with my own lack of butter). But typically, the recipes displayed are splendid and there are a host of various original ideas, which I've enjoyed modifying to my own tastes and presenting here.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 12 oz (or 2 cups) prunes, (cooked and chopped chopped)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or 2 tablespoons milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Put the prunes in water and then bring them to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, remove the prunes, drain them, and 3/4ths of them roughly and the remaining 1/4 finely.
- Combine the roughly chopped prunes, 1 cup water, 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil together. Beat with an electric beater for 4-5 minutes until blended smooth.
- Pour this batter into a bundt or tube pan, which is already greased, and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees f. Remove, and once the pan has cooled down sufficiently, un-mold. Be careful about compaction in the top of the bundt pan : while I didn't experience that on this cake, that has happened in previous cakes which I have made.
- Combine together the cream cheese, the finely chopped prunes, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup of butter which has been partially melted, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and either the 2 tablespoons of milk with 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar or the 2 tablespoons of buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas