I love ready-to-eat prunes in baking than actually eat them as they are. When used in baking and desserts, they tastes wonderful and the flavours really stands out. Prunes are rich with vitamins, high in fiber and virtually no fats! This cake recipe uses prunes and pears. I used apples instead of pears and some Sunsweet Ready-to-eat prunes which has been sitting on my kitchen table for the last two months or so!
This cake is moist, soft and really good! Another wonderful recipe from Dorie Greenspan which is definitely a keeper. As usual, I reduced the brown sugar, and it is just right for me, it is not overly sweet, just the right amount of sweetness, together with the slightly sourish tangy prunes, this cake is wonderful. Good either with a cup of coffee or tea, though I would go for tea with this.
Whisk the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl. Cream the sugar and butter and add in the eggs. Add in the flour alternately with the buttermilk, ending with flour.
I replaced the buttermilk with 2/3 cup of homemade yoghurt and 1/3 cup of milk, mix them together. Buttermilk is quite costly over here, and not easily available too, and once the carton is opened, it does not keep for long. This substitution of buttermilk with yoghurt and milk is one of the handy tips by Dorie, which is really great, as I always have homemade yoghurt in my fridge. I only buy commercial yoghurt as a starter, ever since I started making my own, which is gloriously creamy and delicious. If you have not tried making yoghurt before, try it, it is really very easy, no equipment is necessary. I did not use any special equipment at all. All you need is a deep pot, 1 litre of milk and 2 tablespoon of live cultured yoghurt starter! For homemade yoghurt recipe, click here.
I'm sharing this with
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Bake With Bizzy at Bizzy B. Bakes
Sweets For A Saturday at Sweet As Sugar Cookies
Brown Sugar Bundt Cake
(adapted from "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts or walnuts (or 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar (I use 1-1/2 cups, lightly packed)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (only if you're using ground nuts)
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dices (I use apples)
1/2 cup moist, plump prunes, snipped into 1/4 inch pieces, or 1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
GETTING READY : Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 to 10 inch (12-cup) Bundt pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. If your pan is not nonstick, dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess. (If you've got a silicone Bundt pan, there's no need to butter or flour it). Don't place the pan on a baking sheet - you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.
Whisk together the flour, nuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extract, if you're using it. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately - add the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix only until the ingredients are incorporated and scrape down the bowl as needed. With a rubber spatula, stir in the pears and prunes. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the centre of the cake comes out clean. (If the cake looks as if it's browning too fast, cover the top loosely with a foil tent). Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.
When your're ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with confectioner's sugar.
STORING : Not surprisingly, this cake is a good keeper. It will keep for 5 days wrapped well and at room temperature - it's really better the next day after it is baked than it is on the bake day - and it can be frozen for up to 2 months; defrost still wrapped.