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Lockdown 3.0: Home Baking with Dark Chocolate - Dark Chocolate, Prune and Brandy Cake

Having had the lucky opportunity of living and working in the South of France for 7 years in my pre-Chocolat days, my view of prunes is possibly more favourable than that of most of us in the UK!

The following recipe is certainly a great example of how dark chocolate, prunes (even if you think you don’t like them) and brandy combine, resulting in a very ‘grown-up’ style chocolate cake - and quick and simple to boot!

This is definitely not a regular 😂 chocolate cake, not overly sweet, it’s beautifully rich and makes a great weekend treat served with a generous dollop of creme fraiche or mascarpone.

Ingredients:

220g pitted prunes
100ml brandy
60ml Greek yoghurt
60ml rapeseed oil
1 egg
30g caster sugar
60g soft brown sugar
40ml black treacle
115g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
15g dark cocoa powder
150g our dark chocolate chunks
+2 tbsp extra soft brown sugar for the syrup 

Method:

1. Cover half the prunes with the brandy and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds and set aside 

2. Blitz the remaining prunes, yoghurt and oil in a processor to a smooth paste then place into a large bowl 

3. Whisk the egg, sugars and treacle into the prune paste.

4. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and cocoa powder, then fold in gently 

5. Cut the soaked prunes into 1/4s and add to the cake batter (reserve the soaking liquid)

6. Tip the cake batter into a lined loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 oc for about 1hr (you may need to cover 1/2 way through)

7. Whilst the cakes are baking, warm the prune soaking liquid slightly, add the remaining sugar and stir to dissolve to create a syrup 

8. As soon as you take the cake from the oven, whilst still in tin, pierce about 10 times and pour over the syrup

Allow to cool completely in the tin, then serve 

Hopefully, this recipe will change your minds about prunes! Enjoy 😀