During the 1980’s when I lived in Campbell, California I entered a baking contest. It was for the Campbell Prune Festival held in the streets of our historic downtown. This was a wonderful celebration of community sponsored by the Sunsweet Prune Company, formerly known as The California Prune and Apricot Growers Association. Judged on taste and originality this cake took home First Prize … and a Sunbeam Food Processor, which I still have and use today.
- 1 1/2 cups stewed pitted prunes
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chop prunes, raisins and walnuts, stir together in large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, add to fruit and nut mixture.
Add the oil to the measuring cup with the milk.
Stir milk and oil mixture a little at a time into the large bowl, making sure to blend all the ingredients.
Pour into a tube pan (with a removable bottom if you have one) that has been greased and lightly floured.
Bake @ 325* for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Insert a long wooden skewer, if it comes out clean it’s done.
Cool on wire rack and invert onto a cutting board or work surface. Let the cake sit on the counter, uncovered overnight. This provides some what of a dry surface barrier allowing the cake to absorb the brandy without becoming soggy.
Pour 1/4 cup brandy into a bowl. Cut strips of cheese cloth about 3 inches wide by 12 in. long. Dip into brandy and squeeze out excess. You want them damp. Wrap each strip through the hole as you cover the cake. Repeat with additional strips of cheese cloth and brandy as needed.
Wrap the entire cake in a layer of cheese cloth.
Wrap the entire cake again, this time in Aluminum Foil.
If you poured in too much brandy and still have some in the bowl, don’t worry you will be using it. Every few days check to see if the cheese cloth has dried out. When it does, repeat the process. This cake just keeps getting better and better.