Will Torrent Prune Cake

Prune & Armagnac Cake

Desserts Food

A lovely alternative to something more traditional. The longer you soak the prunes before using, the better the flavour.

250g dark chocolate, chopped
200g salted butter
5 eggs, separated
100g raw cane sugar
75g plain flour
75g ground almonds
To dust cocoa powder
For the Soaked Prunes
3 tbsp Armagnac brandy
1 orange zest, grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
130g soft, pitted prunes   
  1. Soak prunes in water at least one day prior to baking or several weeks in advance in a sterilised jar. Their flavour will improve immeasurably over time.
  2. Put Armagnac, orange zest, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and cloves in a saucepan
    and bring to the boil.
  3. Put drained prunes in a heatproof bowl, pour the hot soaking liquid over them and allow to cool completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave overnight.
  4. Next day, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (not letting the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from heat.
  5. Put egg whites and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a stand mixer or in a bowl and whisk until it forms stiff peaks
  6. In a separate bowl or stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar for about 5 minutes until you can lift up the beaters and leave a figure-of-eight ribbon trail in the mixture.
  7. Stir melted chocolate mixture into egg yolks.
  8. Put soaked prunes in a food processor and process to a purée. Add them to the chocolate, egg and sugar mixture and stir well.
  9. Fold flour and almonds into the mixture with a large, metal spoon. Lastly, fold in the egg white mix very gently in three stages so as not to knock all the air out.
  10. Spoon the mixture into a prepared cake pan and bake in preheated oven for about 30–40 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool and dust with cocoa powder.
  12. Serve with ice cream, brandy crème anglaise or a dollop of cream.