Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sometimes you just have to get pruney.

Ways to get pruney:
  • - staying in the hot tub too long... too much water
  • - apparently being poorly hydrated... not enough water
  • - not wearing sunscreen and getting sun damage - not recommended
  • - always wrinkling your forehead- not recommended
  • - eating mini prune loaves - totally recommended

For the longest time, I thought prunes and dates were the same thing. It wasn't until I made these little loaves that I realized I was wrong.
Prunes are dried plums
Dates are dates.

I wouldn't have made this mistake if every dried fruit just had a different name. It seems simple.
Raisins and grapes. 
Craisins and cranberries.

This works for another things too.
Beef and cow. 
 Pork and pig
Chicken and chicken
Ugh. The single name problem.

 But that doesn't matter because today's focus is all about getting pruney with prune loaves.

Super PRUNEY!!
I swapped out plain yogurt for Activia's Pune Yogurt.
I am a huge fan of Activia.

I had to chop up the prunes into small bits. I didn't want in-your-face-chunks.
Check out the knife - you can see the word: prune. 
Such a pruney picture.

A generous 1 cup...
I think I changed the texture of the loaves because I added so much prune.
So I made some changes to the second batch.

I had to soak the prunes in the yogurt for 30 minutes
to make them soft and extract the pruney essence.
But the prunes I used were from Costco
and they were soft to begin with.
Huge fan of Costco.

I mixed the regulars in a separate bowl. You know baking powder and soda, salt, and flour.

Why add both baking soda and baking power 
if they are both leavening agents?

Well baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, which is basic. It will yield a bitter taste unless countered by the acidity of another ingredient (e.g., yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, honey). When it is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient, a reaction begins immediately after mixing the ingredients so bake right away, or it will fall flat! 

Baking Powder, on the other hand, contains sodium bicarbonate, an acidifying agent (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch). It contains both an acid and a base and has an overall neutral effect in terms of taste. Recipes also usually use other neutral-tasting ingredients, such as milk. Some powders are activated by moisture and need to be baked after mixing, while other powders must stand before baking.

Some of my loaves had walnuts.
I actually preferred these ones. 
It was nice to have a crunch to counter balance the super pruney texture.

Some of my loaves were giants.

I have issues when it comes to distributing batter evenly.

Bottoms up!

Take 'em outside and enjoy the sunny weather.

Here are the changes I made to the recipe on batch numero deux:
  • -a little less than 1/4 brown sugar (yogurt was sweet)
  • -1/2 cup of peach yogurt aka 2 little cartons (vs. 1/3 cup of plain)
  • -added 1.5 cups of chopped prunes (just like the first time..)
  • -added chopped almonds after adding the yogurt-prune mixture (I ran out of walnuts)
  • -more baking powder and soda than called for
  • -maybe another tablespoon of milk? 

Original Recipe Yogurt Prune Mini Loaves (or Muffins) 
Printer Friendly Version
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted prunes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(1) Mix the prunes and yogurt. Let the prunes soak for 30 minutes. The reason is to soften the prunes and at the same time to extract the taste of the prunes.
(2) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
(3) Prepare muffin tray. Grease the muffin tray with butter or simply place paper cups into the muffin holes.
(4) Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg. Beat again. Pour the vanilla extract. Stir in the prune and yogurt mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, add the sifted flour mixture and milk alternately. Gently fold in after each addition, starting and ending with the flour.
(5) Fill muffin holes with two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C (aka 350 Degrees F) for 20 minutes or until golden in colour.

Makes 8 mini loaves... I think that is also the equivalent to 12 muffins. Don't quote me.
Recipe from here !

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