Friday, December 30, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Prune Cake

It's been quite a busy last couple of months so when it came to the issue of making a christmas pudding, I was on the hunt for a little less time consuming alternative. I found the answer in this simple yet luxurious Dark Chocolate and Prune cake from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

You might be thinking there's nothing luxurious about prunes but these prunes have been soaked overnight in brandy turning them into deliciously soft and boozy pockets of joy. In fact they are so good, I've upped the content in the recipe which should leave you with some extra to sneakily scoff while you're making the cake.

dark chocolate and prune cake© by Haalo




Dark Chocolate and Prune Cake

250 grams pitted prunes
brandy
250 grams butter, cubed
250 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped ( I used Lindt 85%)
4 eggs, separated
100 grams raw caster sugar
100 grams soft brown sugar
50 grams potato flour
50 grams almond meal
icing sugar, for dusting


Place the prunes in a small bowl and pour in enough brandy to generously coat the prunes. Seal and store in the fridge overnight.

Next day, carefully pick the prunes from the liquid, and lay them out on paper towels - cover with another sheet of paper towel and set to one side.

Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place it over a pot of gently simmering water. Give it a little stir when you see it starting to melt and when it is almost totally melted, remove from the heat and stir until smooth and homogeneous. Let this cool a little before proceeding.

Place the egg yolks, caster sugar and brown sugar into a bowl and whisk until light and creamy. Pour in the cooled chocolate mix and stir well - sift together the potato flour and almond meal and add to the bowl, folding this in until evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until thick (firm peak stage). Take a large spoonful and add to the cake mix - stir this in to slacken the mixture. Add in the rest of the egg whites, folding it through gently.

Line the base of a 22cm cake tin (either springform or removable base works best) and butter the sides. Pour in three-quarters of the cake mix - dot the top with the drained prunes - and then cover with the remaining cake mix.

Place in a preheated 170°C oven and cook until set but still slightly soft in the middle. The original recipes suggests 30 minutes but I found it took more than 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the tin for about 30 minutes and using a palette knife, run it along the sides to loosen the cake from the tin. Remove the tin but let the cake cool completely before trying to place it on your serving dish. Finish off by dusting the top with icing sugar.

dark chocolate and prune cake© by Haalo


It's a lovely moist cake, deep chocolate flavour with an almost brownie like texture with the added treat of those brandy soaked prunes. You could serve this with a little dollop of thick cream but it really doesn't need it.

16 comments:

  1. Love the look of this! So rich and divine.

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  2. Want to make this for NYE but going to a nut free house. What can I use instead of ground almonds?

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  3. Thanks Lizzy!

    Thanks Leaf!

    Hi Lucy - difficult as the ground almonds add a textural element to the cake. Fine ground semolina might work.

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  4. looks lovely - happy new year haalo

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    1. Thanks Johanna - hope you had a great new years!

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  5. Thanks Haalo,
    I didn't have semolina but tried polenta and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again - I want to taste it with the almonds.
    x

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    1. Excellent Lucy - lovely to hear that it worked, polenta would have been my next option after semolina.

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  6. Looks delicious, will try making it this weekend!

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  7. That sounds strangely appetizing. I'm not a big fan of prunes, but soaked in booze I think I could manage them. And I adore dark chocolate!

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    1. You should give it a go AC!

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  8. This looks amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe. I love prunes and soaking them in brandy is such a good idea.

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    1. Thanks Emma - the boozy prunes are a revelation!

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  9. Made this tonight for my colleagues tomorrow - looking forward to the taste test! I had a lot of trouble finding potato flour, though, and ended up using a much smaller amount of cornflour and more almond meal. Where do you find it in Melbourne, can I ask?

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    1. Hi - not sure what part of melbourne you're from but I've found most larger supermarkets should stock potato flour. Independents like Leo's in Kew and Piedimonte's in North Fitzroy also have it. Hope everyone enjoys the cake!

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  10. Hello, thought I should stop by and let you know how I'm going with it. I ended up getting potato flour at Essential - and then about a week later my local Coles decided to start stocking it. (Cue X-Files music...) I found it a bit dry until last night's variation - I sliced the prunes in halves before soaking, added a couple of extra egg yolks (due mostly to a separation malfunction) and an additional 50g hazelnut meal, pulled it out of the oven at 35 mins... and the next morning at work it was moist, good crumb, and very pronounced brandy flavour. This recipe is an absolute winner - thank you for sharing it here!

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