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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Prune Juice Cake with Almonds and Chocolate Chips


Yes, you read it right. Prune Juice Cake. Prunes get a bad rap on the grocery round. Many people use them as a medicinal product instead of a fruit.  Kids giggle when they see them in the cart.  Adults assume someone is not quite er...ah...um...shall we say "regular" and so the prune ridicule continues. Prune juice gets treated no differently.  It's the "prune" attached to the label.  I noticed California growers call them "dried plums" as a way, I guess, of removing the scorn and ridicule of the prune label.

Actually, prunes and prune juice are delicious and sweet and can be added to cereals and smoothies to add natural sweetness and cut back on sugar.   Prune juice with ginger ale or soda water makes a lovely sweet drink.  And it mixes just great with orange juice.  Too bad the lovely prune juice is such a dark brown as it tends to make a fruit punch an awful colour. 

Sometimes I find myself with a bottle of prune juice left at the back of the fridge, opened and forgotten, and in need of being used immediately. When that happens this recipe really comes in handy to use some of the juice.  Then I make a smoothie with the rest or drink the juice it as soon as possible.  I wonder why that juice gets pushed to the back of the refrigerator and forgotten? 

Prune Juice Cake makes a nice moist and dense cake that can easily be used as a snack cake or fancied up with a cream cheese frosting.  If you sprinkle the top with the optional chocolate chips you might even want to add the grated rind of an orange to the batter before baking. Serve it straight from the cake pan or bake it in a bundt or in layers.  Just adjust the baking time for the different size pans. 


Prune Juice Cake
½ cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
1teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2¼ cups flour + 2 tablespoons
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1¼ cups prune juice
¾ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, optional (Try adding grated orange rind to batter if using the chococlate chips.)
¾ cup sliced almonds or favourite nut, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour or line with parchment paper a 9x13-inch cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the the eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together and add alternately with the prune juice to the creamed mixture. Beat on medium low only until mixed well. Pour into the prepared pan. If using, sprinkle the almonds and chocolate chips evenly over the top of the batter.
  
Bake 45-50 minutes in the preheated oven.  When baked, cool thoroughly in pan.  The cake can be removed by pieces and stored in a covered container. 

Makes 15 servings.   

For a delightful dessert, the cake can be served warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy and light.


Don't forget to add the vanilla to the creamed mixture.

 Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 

Measure the prune juice.  Add the flour and prune juice alternately to the creamed mixture. 


Beat on medium low until the batter is well combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  You can bake the cake plain but it's so much tastier with the optional ingredients. Sprinkle with the almonds and chocolate chips, if using.

Bake in preheated oven 45-50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Slightly spicy with cinnamon, moist and tender, this cake will be a hit with your family as a snack or dessert.


Serve from the pan warm or cold.
 
A scoop of ice cream goes well with Prune Juice Cake.

 Who'd a thunk a prune could taste so good!

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