13 October 2012

Gâteau aux pruneaux

Yesterday I went down to the garage to look for my silicone savarin mould (Br.) / pan (U.S.) — we have a cabinet full of kitchen things down there. They're things we don't use very often. I think I'm going to start using the savarin (Fr.) / bundt (U.S.) pan more often.

A few days I bought a kilo bag of pruneaux d'Agen — prunes from the Agen area in SW France — at the supermarket. So I thought about a prune cake recipe that I used to make and always liked. It was time to make prune cake again.

It just dawned on me that I also have a package of dried apricots down in the pantry. I bought those when I bought the prunes. Now I wish I had made an apricot cake. Oh well... next time. Now that the moule à savarin is back in the kitchen, I'll make more cakes.

I did a whole post about making this kind of prune cake in 2008. I just found it by doing a search on the blog. If you've never done a search, just type a keyword ("prunes" for example) in the search field (with a magnifying glass icon) at the top left-hand corner of the main blog screen. Try it.

The secret to making the prune cake successfully is to cook it in a ring pan. It cooks evenly. In a loaf pan, it's hard to get the inside to cook through without burning the outside of the cake. If you don't have a ring pan, use a wide cake pan and cook the batter in a thin layer (or two thin cakes for this amount of batter).

Notes: If the prunes you have are as tender and moist as the ones I bought, you really don't need to soak them before making the cake. Also, I added 1½ teaspoons of baking powder to the French recipe, to make the cake rise well, and I beat the egg whites just lightly before adding them to the batter — which means the cake is easier to make.


  1. Looks amazing! I love les pruneaux from Agen and often cook with them. You've given me a new recipe to try.

    Also, your new header photo is stunning!

  2. Thanks for the link Ken... at the moment you are probably only three miles away from here... unless you have decided to get back home before the heavens open!! Meteociel is currently [6PM prognoscis] giving 49mm between 8AM and 8PM tomorrow for Le Petit Pressigny... Pauline and I feel damn sorry for the people involved!! As it is the other end of thye road, we'll brave it for a while... unless it is just too foolish to drive.

  3. Tim here we are back at home in Saint-Aignan. We've got 26 mm in the rain gauge now, and it's still pouring. We decided not to brave the elements in Le Petit-Pressigny today, and yes, it's a shame for the people who prepared and were planning to spend the day there at the L'Art et Lard festival.

  4. We were inspired to make a prune cake yesterday and it turned out fabulously well. I had a Pyrex silicone kugelhopf cake mould that I'd never used before.

    I remember once making a ring cake without a suitable pan, and fakeing it with some oven paper and a pyrex cup in the centre of the pan.


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