Sunday, November 6, 2016

Prune Preserves and Caramel Cream Cake Roll

Pity the poor prune.  While other dried fruits--cranberries, apricots, cherries and the like--are found in healthy, well-muscled young hikers, prunes (especially stewed prunes, which sounds even worse) are in the sad cereal bowls of the elderly.  Rose wants to change all this.  It definitely helps to add caramel whipped cream--that was certainly never served at breakfast at my grandmother's house.

I guess these prunes are stewed.  Maybe lekvar means "stewed prunes."  At any rate, they're cooked with water, sugar, and some lemon zest until they're so soft and tender that you probably wouldn't even have to put in your false teeth to eat them.  This is, by the way, a multi-page, multi-step recipe, but it's not too bad if you just take it one step at a time and try not to think about all the steps that are left.  While the prunes are coming to room temperature, you make the sponge.  We've done this so often I feel that I should have the recipe memorized.  I don't, of course.

It involves beating whole eggs and then adding in beaten egg whites.  That's always good for at least one photo.

Then the batter is spread onto a half sheet pan.  I never get mine completely even.  After a while I get tired of smoothing it out with a spatula, so I just decide it's good enough.

After the lekvar and sponge cake are made, the caramel is next.  I've taken to using caster sugar sometimes; it has a little more color than regular white granulated sugar, so I thought it might interfere with my ability to tell when the caramel was done, but luck (and an instant thermometer) were with me.

Jim always likes the part where you add the cream to the caramel mixture and it "boils furiously."

I could just dig into that mixture of caramel and cream, but I have a little discipline.

One layer of cooled lekvar spread on the sponge cake.

Followed by a layer of caramel cream.

I should have rolled it tighter, I now see, but at the time, it seemed that I was.

Finally, the chocolate glaze.  Very easy; just melted chocolate, cream, and about a tablespoon of leftover caramel.

JJ and Lily came over just as I was finishing the cake, so there were bowls of caramel, chocolate, and caramel cream, not to mention various bits of cake that I'd trimmed off.  They were in hog heaven.  I gave each of them a small spoon and told them to have at it until all the bowls and scraps were eaten. By the time their mother came in the kitchen to see why it was so quiet, the evidence was gone--except on their faces, of course.  I told her it was actually a fruit dessert.

I served this to my book club.  I did not apologize for the haphazard look of the glaze or the too-flat appearance of the roll.  One person asked me if I bought the roll at Wuollet's (a well-known local bakery).  Another took a picture to send to a woman who wasn't able to come.  And every plate was absolutely clean.  Not even a morsel for the compost bin.  Take that, you prune haters!


  1. Well, prunes are a fruit!

    Need to get my pinny on to get this made. Too many steps to face over the weekend. I am sure it will be less daunting tonight after kids have gone to bed...

  2. I was surprised by how fast mine disappeared!

  3. "Fruit dessert"!!!! This is what I'm going to tell my family.

  4. ב׳׳ה

    It's flat and a circle at the same time. A fruit conundrum. Mine too. ;)

  5. Lol! You are so funny.. ! Granny Mame!

  6. i absolutely love this posting! and now to come clean (so to speak): i came up with this concept after surgery 4 years or so ago and called it Remedial Prune Roll. i so enjoyed the flavors and texture it was what i made for my dear friends and pastry chefs Jean-François Bonnet and his wife Dina. yes--my grandmother too ate stewed prunes. and had false teeth.