Maggie Beer

Chocolate, Brandy & Prune Cake

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Step 1: Soak the prunes overnight in 125mL of the brandy.

Step 2: Next day, preheat the oven to 200C and line a 24 centimetre round cake tin with baking paper.

Step 3: Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set it aside to cool a little. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and remove it from the heat.

Step 4: Roughly chop the chocolate and put it with the coffee granules and remaining brandy in a large stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Stand this bowl over the pan of hot water until the chocolate has melted. Stir to combine. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and then incorporate the melted butter. Sift the flour into the mixture and gently fold it in until combined.

Step 5: Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, adding the caster sugar til firm peaks form. Fold a little of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then pour the chocolate mixture back into the whites, gently folding until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20 -25 minutes. The cake will rise like a soufflé during baking and will crack on the surface. It will then collapse a little as it cools. Don’t fret – this is all meant to happen! Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 45 minutes before turning it out.

Step 6: Cut the cake in half and gently remove the top layer. Scoop out a little cake from the centre of the bottom layer and blend the crumbs with the prunes in a food processor. Fill the cake with the prune mixture and replace the top layer.

Step 7: Spread Dark Chocolate and Vino Cotto Caramel across the top of the cake and top with extra prunes to decorate.

Step 8: Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.

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