Cinnamon-Raisin Penuche Cake

penuche_cake

For lunch I had carrots dipped in homemade hummus, then an apple for dessert. I am so healthy I could just scream. Or run several consecutive marathons.

Except for the fact, well…. somewhere between breakfast and lunch I ate 1/4 of a cake.

The cake? Well, so, I had made penuche fudge, but it didn’t set (here’s my recipe). Who knows what I did wrong THIS time, but there it is. I’ve made it twenty or so times in my life, with about a 50/50 success rate. No, it wasn’t TOO soft, it didn’t pool or drip like caramel, it was a bit more solid than that, but it wasn’t solid enough to cut into blocks.

And so I made a cinnamon-raisin cake to go underneath it, and the penuche “frosting” was perfect. Good times. Anyhow. I recommend making the Penuche Fudge. Period. And if that fails, make the cake for under it.

Ingredients!

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup butter (I use vegan butter which we make)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups raisins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Directions!

Bring brown sugar, water, butter, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and raisins to a boil in a pot, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a cake pan (I used a 9″ round pan).

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the mixture that you just boiled (again, once it has cooled).

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool (preferably on a cooling rack, but a plate will work) before frosting.

2 comments to Cinnamon-Raisin Penuche Cake

  • War Pig

    Here’s the recipe I use for Penuche fudge. I add either walnuts, pecans or almonds. I toast the nuts first and then chop them in the small food processor. Of course, the nuts are optional.

    I’ve found that the biggest problem is the accuracy of the thermometer. If you have an accurate thermometer and read it correctly (it helps if it is well-marked in large numbers and clear lines), the rest comes together pretty well.

    Personally, I find penuche only mildly desirable. I do have a cousin who is in love with it, however, and so make it for her on holidays or when she visits. I prefer chocolate, white chocolate or peanut butter fudge, myself.

    Penuche Fudge Recipe:

    Yield: 1 8×8-inch pan of penuche

    Ingredients:

    2 1/2 cups brown sugar
    2 1/2 cups white sugar
    1 1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup toasted, finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

    Instructions:

    1. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving 2-inches overhang on two opposing sides as a sling to assist with removal. Make sure to fold the paper into the corners of the pan or the penuche will find a way to stick like epoxy and cause you to curse your birth and that of the person who invented the stuff.

    2. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low, heat brown sugar, white sugar, milk, butter, and salt to 236F while stirring constantly. This should take 20-25 minutes. Works better with a gas cook-top but I have made it with electric coil cook-tops. The thermometer reading is very important.

    3. Pour penuche into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium for 2-4 minutes(starting on low to prevent slinging the lava-hot stuff around), or until fudge is thick and smooth. Lower speed to low and add vanilla extract and chopped nuts (if nuts are desired).

    4. Using a spatula greased with butter (yes, grease even a silicone spatula – as I said this stuff sticks like epoxy), spread penuche fudge into lined pan, smoothing out the top as best as you can. Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum before cutting. Eat it and then you’d probably better take an immediate shot of insulin – even if you are not a diabetic. ;-) This stuff is RICH!!

  • Even after all the sugar I’ve ingested over the holiday, I’d still like a slice of that. And a nibble more.