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Chocolate and Prune Cake Recipe

After a fantastic cycling and camping holiday in the Agen region of South-West France, I returned home keen to devise a recipe using the stunning pruneaux d’Agen that we had feasted on. These were sold at farm gates, alongside superlatively good Armagnacs. This cake is not too sweet and perfect served in thin slivers after supper.

Mini chocolate and prune cakes on wooden chopping board

150 g/5½ oz/generous ½ cup butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing

250 g/9 oz/1½ cups pitted prunes, quartered

4 tbsp Armagnac

600 g/1 lb 5 oz milk chocolate, chopped

6 eggs

1 tbsp espresso coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water

200 g/7 oz/2 cups ground almonds

100 g/3½ oz chestnut flour

1 tbsp orange oil

¼ tsp vanilla extract

topping

25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp butter

50 g/1¾ oz dark chocolate, chopped

12 pitted prunes

 

makes: 12 squares or rounds

health: gluten free

cook: 35–40 minutes

store: 7 days in airtight container. Freeze well

compost: eggshells

 

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Brush a 30 x 23 x 4 cm/12 x 9 x 1½ in baking tin with melted butter.

Put the prunes in a small pan, pour the Armagnac over and heat gently for a minute or 2 then set aside to cool.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth (or in a microwave).

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the prunes, Armagnac, coffee, ground almonds, chestnut flour, orange oil and vanilla. Add the melted butter-and-chocolate mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until the mixture is creamy and you can see bubbles rising to the surface.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Bang the tin firmly on a work surface to get rid of air pockets. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the surface springs back when pressed gently with your fingertips. A flat cake skewer will come out clean when the cake is ready. Leave to cool in the tin.

For the topping, melt the butter with the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth (or in a microwave). Dip each prune into the chocolate mixture and arrange on the cake. Drizzle the remaining chocolate mixture over the cake if you wish. Slide the cake out of the tin and cut into 12 squares or rounds.

Great for kids

To make a non-alcoholic version, add the chopped prunes without soaking them in Armagnac.

Honeybuns gluten free baking book front cover

Taken from Honeybuns Gluten-Free Baking by Emma Goss-Custard, published by Pavilion. Recipe photography Cristian Barnett. For further information about this and other recipes from our book, do take a look at our Book FAQ's.  

If you like this recipe, why not try our Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe, also taken from this book.

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