PRUNE AND CHOCOLATE CAKE

Yields12 Servings
 250 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
 200 g soft pitted prunes roughly chopped
 50 ml brandy
 1 tbsp vanilla extract
 250 g dark chocolate
 5 eggs
 250 g golden caster sugar
 ½ tsp fine sea salt
Frosting
 100 g dark chocolate
 2 tbsp cocoa powder
 100 g full fat soft cheese
 50 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3; grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm spring form cake tin with baking parchment; wrap the outside of the tin in a double layer of foil and find a roasting dish large and deep enough to accommodate the tin

2

Put the prunes in a shallow dish and cover with the brandy and vanilla extract; set aside until needed

3

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second bursts; stir to combine then set aside to cool slightly; in another bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and salt until pale, fluffy and doubled in volume

4

Fold the melted chocolate and butter into the eggs, followed by the prunes and any of their juices; pour into the prepared cake tin, place in the roasting dish and set on the oven shelf and carefully pour boiling water from the kettle into the roasting tray until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake tin; bake for about 55 minutes, until set but still with a slight wobble in the centre; transfer the cake from the water bath to a wire rack, removing the foil; leave to cool completely in the tin for about 4 hours

5

For the frosting, melt the chocolate in a microwave, as before; process the remaining ingredients until combined; add 1/3 of the mixture to the melted chocolate and whisk together; return everything to the food processor and blitz until you have a smooth spreadable frosting

6

Once the cake has cooled, remove from the tin and place on a serving plate; you can leave on the base of the tin, if it is difficult to remove; loosely spread the frosting over the top before serving; the cake will keep for up to three days in an airtight container, in the fridge

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