Friday, 26 July 2013

Walnut Prune Cake



Another prune cake and this one has been adapted from Chef Wan's Walnut Prune Cake. The original recipe comes from the booklet Chef Wan Cakes. When I first saw the recipe, I wasn't excited as I wasn't very keen on prunes then. But after baking the Banana Prune Cake, I am now loving prune cakes.



In my first attempt, I followed the original recipe which uses whipped cream. I have seen Wendy's Whipped Cream Cake but she wasn't exactly raving over it. She said that she would gladly eat butter cake and I can understand why. The cake was dense and compact basically because I didn't beat the batter correctly. Besides, it didn't have that special something that butter cake has. I just don't know how to describe it.

The whipped cream version. Feels like eating plastic. But that's just me.

The recipe requires the prunes to be steeped in orange juice for three hours. That made the prunes very yummy with the orange flavor. I noted that you can get Sunsweet Prunes with Orange Essence but I would still go with using natural orange juice.

Prunes marinated in orange juice.

In the recipe, the eggs and sugar have to be beaten until stiff. I wasn't sure what that meant and kept on beating the eggs and see what happens. After about 10 minutes, the eggs mixture became very thick like cream. I guess that's what it meant. And then the whipped cream is gradually added. I think this is where I made my mistake. After the whipped cream was added, the egg mixture became watery again. I guess I should have continued beating until it became thick again. But I didn't.



I proceeded with adding the flour. The batter was thick and fluid and was very easy to pour into the pan. When I baked the cake, I noted that it did not rise very much.

Lots of cracks and the cake was on the dry side.


After 45 minutes, there was till some wet batter sticking to my skewer. The top was already quite hard and dry. I continued for another 10 minutes. After the cake was cooled, I drizzled melted chocolate over the cake .

Bottom part of the cake. I should have toasted the almond flakes.

I was quite disappointed when I tasted the cake. Mostly because the texture was dense and it was on the dryyish side. It was the chocolate sauce that made the cake palatable. No fault of the recipe, it's just that I didn't beat the batter properly.

First attempt. Drizzled with melted chocolate..


I wasn't satisfied and because I had some leftover marinated prunes, I decided to bake the cake again the next day with my own adaptations. Instead of whipped cream, I stuck to butter and added 2 tubs of yogurt for good measure. I am really glad that I baked the cake again because the second version was fantastic. The cake was very moist and fluffy and tasted very good even without the chocolate sauce.

Second cake rose nicely and hardly any cracks.

This cake is baked in a chiffon pan, I guess for the nice shape but feel free to use your regular pan.  This time I omitted the almond flakes and the amount of prunes used was 175g as opposed to 250g in the first bake because that was all that I had left. I actually preferred lesser amount of prunes and it suited me fine. 

I decided to put the prune side up. No chocolate sauce was required.


I love this cake very much as it is moist and fluffy with chocolaty and orangey flavours and moist yummy prunes. I'll give you the original recipe so that you can try it. If you don't like the whipped cream version, then I highly recommend the butter cake version.









Walnut Prune Cake
Recipe source : Adapted from Chef Wan Cakes page 26
My adaptations and notes in red.

Ingredients :
- 250g prunes pitted (I prefer less, about 175g)
- Juice of 1/2 orange (I used juice from 1 orange for 250g of prunes)
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds (Toast first)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup castor sugar (I reduced to 1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (I used zest of 1 orange)
- 300ml whipped cream (I used 250g butter and 270ml plain yogurt)
- 2 cups self-raising flour (I used 250g self-raising flour)
- 3 tbsp apricot jam (I used peach jam because I didn't have apricot jam)
- 1 cup walnuts (I omitted)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- melted chocolate to decorate

Method :
1. Steep prunes in orange juice for 3 hours.
2. Grease a medium chiffon cake tin and sprinkle sliced almonds on the base.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and lemon zest until stiff.
4. Gradually add whipped cream.
5. Fold in flour.
6. Divide batter into 2 portions, one with one-third and the other with two-thirds of batter.
7. Pour the larger portion of batter into prepared cake tin.
8. Mix together jam, walnuts, marinated prunes and cocoa powder with the remaining one-third of batter. (I mixed the jam, prunes and cocoa powder first to make it easier to fold into the batter)
9. Pour into cake tin over the first layer.
10. Create a marbled effect in cake using the tip of a knife to swirl batter.
11. Bake in an oven preheated to 170C for 1-1.5 hours. (I baked the butter cake version for 45 minutes at 160C)
12. Cool the cake in the tin and then remove.
13. Drizzle melted chocolate over the cake to decorate.



This post is linked to Cook-Your-Books #2 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

34 comments:

  1. I love how u drizzle the sauce over the cake. Dipping those prunes in orange juice sounds brilliant, Phong Hong!

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    Replies
    1. Shirley, I loved this cake so much I walloped 3 slices at one go!

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  2. Hi Phong Hong,
    Your cake looks wonderful! I, myself likes cake with whipping cream, but then nothing beats butter! In order to beat the egg whites till stiff, beat until to a point that when you turn the bowl upside down, the fluffy egg white remain in the bowl, it would not move at all. To check, tilt the bowl gently first, if the egg whites starts to slide, then you would have to continue on beating, test again with the upside down bowl method. Advisable to use immediately or the egg whites will become watery again. And also, overbeating will cause the egg whites to liquify again, so be careful with the timing. Very tricky, but you will get used to it. (wanted to email to you, but could not find your email add)
    I would usually mix the batter first, then beat the egg white last, and mix into the batter as per recipe instruction. Hope this helps!
    Your version using butter sounds good!
    Thank you for sharing with CYB!


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    Replies
    1. Joyce, thank you so much for your advise and guidance! I am always iffy when I beat egg whites. Is it stiff enough? Should I continue? Well, your tilt the bowl and test upside down is genius! Yesterday, I made cotton soft Japanese cheesecake and took heed of you advise. My egg whites were perfect! But the cake not so perfect hah! hah! Thanks again, Joyce! I appreciate it very much :)

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  3. I love prune cakes, steamed. This must be really good too...

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    Replies
    1. Arthur, I haven't found the steamed prune cake recipe yet. When I do, I will sure try it!

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  4. ya, I don't like whipping cream too, and prefer butter cake as well, can see your cake is very moist and yummy, send over a slice for my tea time now, can kah?

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    Replies
    1. Sonia, sudah habis ler...This cake is very sedap. Next time, I want to put chocolate chips into the prune mixture.

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  5. Glad to hear that your second attempt was successful. I still haven't took my prunes from my fridge yet...hahahah...always wanted to make a cke with prunes but just tooooooo lazy...I will had a piece of your cake for tea time :)

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    Replies
    1. Jozelyn, it is time to take out your prunes! Bake this cake lah, I guarantee it is very good :)

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  6. looks yum yum it looks moist .can pass one slice for me next time must sit at your gate to wait for all your left over which you want to throw away he! he!

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    Replies
    1. Ee-Ee, I will bake for you to try :)

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  7. Whether its using cream or butter, both I like. But most of all, I like cakes that are soft and moist.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, this cake is soft and very moist. I am very pleased with the cake.

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  8. Phong Hong, your cake looks soft and moist!!! I like the prune and chocolate topping as well. One day I must try to use prune for my cake too :)

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    Replies
    1. Esther, I am sure you will love this cake. I never liked prunes but now I am converted :)

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  9. Cake looks so soft and spongy.

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  10. I love banana as well as prune. Adding yohurt is definitely giving the cake a better texture. Your cake looks soft and moist, so yummy :)

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    Replies
    1. Ann, I love adding yogurt to cakes now. Really makes it so moist and delicious!

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  11. Wow so much prune and so much fiber! Sure no problem with your bowel movements! Hahaha!

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Hah! Alvin, I was good to go the next day :)

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  12. PH!!!!! you are soooo good in baking. M sooooooooo bad and have no clue to do baking...for some reason, the dessert part...i am so weak :(((((

    But you are so terrorr......i wish m there, could just come to your house and eat...hihihi :)

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    Replies
    1. Yuss, no lah! I am very new to baking, still making a lot of mistakes. I thought I was hopeless too until I tried it. Of course lah, the first time my brownies were so hard and dry. But later I improved. You should try baking too and don't be afraid to make mistakes. And I have fed a few cakes to my rubbish bin hah..hah...hah....

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    2. Aiyoooo!!!! why rubbish bin?? Fed me larrr!!! hahahha ...you so funny.....aiyo...my daughter loves all this sweet thingy....i have to control her appetite for all this cake....She loves brownie PH....i sedang force her to do exercises with me now and she have to cut down a bit of her excess..haha..i said , you gonna go to junior high, you better shape it up, every week kena run 5 miles, u beter start now...haha.....but...yeah....i definitely will give it a try...tapi takuuuuuuutttt nanti tak jadi..hihi

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    3. Yuss, tak jadi tak apa becoz you will learn from that mistake. The next time sure jadi :) Tak cuba tak tahu!

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  13. Sound good this cake, may be i have to try this.

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    Replies
    1. xing hui, please try this cake. It is delicious!

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, I can imagine that your second version is much better. Butter always makes bakes taste much better ;)

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  15. This cake looks so moist and delicious! I have Chef Wan's book and I enjoy his recipes...

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    1. Mich, I love Chef Wan's recipes too!

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  16. Hi Phong Hong, this cake look delicious and excellent combination. I love the melted chocolate, so inviting. :)

    Have a nice week ahead.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amelia! After eating this cake, next day got no problem in the loo :)

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