French Cake

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My sister and fellow blogger, Natasha, baked this cake a long long time ago when we were visiting her one summer.  There was something about this cake that sent you back for seconds, and thirds, until the whole cake disappeared.  It was delicious.  It took me a while, but I was finally able to hunt down the recipe online.  And I am so happy to share this cake with you.  It’s not like any other cake, that’s for sure.  It has nuts, and prunes, and a delectable butter-sour cream frosting.  I chose to lightly frost the outside of the cake, giving it the ‘naked cake’ effect.  Feel free to reserve a tad more frosting to completely frost the sides, if desired.  It will be scrumptious either way.  Happy baking and frosting!

Ingredients

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Cake

4 egg whites

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

4 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

11 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting

30 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (3 3/4 sticks)

4 egg yolks

1 cup powdered sugar

2 cups thick sour cream

1 tablespoon rum (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts

300 grams pitted prunes (I bought a 255g bag of pitted prunes)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, melt 11 tablespoons butter. Transfer to clean bowl and let cool slightly.

IMG_53082. In a clean mixing bowl, whip 4 egg whites until slightly foamy on medium-high speed, 30 seconds. Gradually add 1⅓ cups sugar, increase to high speed and continue to whip for 1½ more minutes.

3. Add melted butter and 4 tablespoons honey. Pour ¼ teaspoon white vinegar over ½ teaspoon baking soda, allow mixture to fizz and then add to batter. Whip batter on medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add 2½ cups flour on low speed. Once all flour has been added, increase speed to medium and beat for a minute or so, scraping sides of bowl at least once.

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4. To prepare cake pans, spray three, 9-inch pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. (I was in a pinch today as I had no parchment paper on hand so I buttered and floured the bottoms and sides of the cake pans).

5. Evenly divide batter amongst the three cake pans and bake in preheat oven for 12 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer cake pans to cooling rack. After about 15 minutes, run a knife along the side of the cake pans and carefully transfer cakes onto wire rack. Allow cakes to cool completely.

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6. To prepare frosting, combine 3 and ¾ stick of room temperature butter, 4 egg yolks, and 1 cup powdered sugar in mixer bowl and using paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups thick sour cream and 1 tablespoon rum (if using) and beat until thoroughly combined, 30 seconds. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl at least once.

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IMG_5335IMG_53377. Chop walnuts and prunes.

8.To assemble the cake, place small dollop of cream on serving dish (cake board or serving platter lined with aluminum or wax paper( (for easy clean up)). Lay 1st cake layer down. Spoon third of the cream onto cake and evenly spread it out. Sprinkle half of the chopped prunes and walnuts onto cream. Top with second cake layer, slightly pressing on cake for better adherence. Repeat assembly: cream, prunes, walnuts. Top with last cake layer, bottom side up. Frost top and sides of cake with spatulas, reserving some cream of piping rosettes (if desired).

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Allow cake to settle in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or coffee!

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