Sunday, 3 June 2012

The most gooeyist, rich, jubilicious chocolate cake ever

In honour of Queen’s Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee I’ve made this rich (and I mean rich) chocolate, prune and brandy celebration cake.

Okay, that’s not entirely true - it’s got nothing to do with The Queen. I’m not really into all this pomp and circumstance but I do feel as though I owe Liz one for giving us two days off work.

It was my first free Sunday afternoon is weeks and despite a Prosecco-induced headache I wasn’t going to spend the day sat on the sofa watching Queeny on a barge sailing down the River Thames.

I found this cake recipe amongst a huge pile of Good Food magazines on the coffee table. The idea of prunes and brandy didn’t exactly draw me in, but the picture of the finished cake looked so gooey and calorific that I was starting to drool.

Minimal ingredients, minimum effort and one of your five-a-day – what’s not to love? Don’t quote me on the five-a-day thing I’ve just made that up!

I used the best dark chocolate available – Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa solids, which is quite expensive but currently on offer in Tesco!

It’s literally the nicest chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. But it’s extremely rich so should be eaten in small doses, if you can stop.

I think it’s the perfect celebration cake if you’re having a jubilee party this Bank Holiday – the chocolate and brandy will lift spirits (no pun intended) if the rain is threatening to ruin the occasion.

Stick a tacky Great British flag in the top and serve with a dollop of thick cream on the side and a glass of something bubbly.

Happy jubilee everyone!

225g butter and a little extra for greasing the tin
100g chopped prunes from a tin
100ml brandy, or thereabouts
250g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
200g light brown muscovado sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting

Heat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin with butter. You don’t need to bother with greaseproof – the mixture is so moist that it won’t stick.
In a small bowl, soak the prunes in the brandy.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs yolks. Fold in the melted chocolate.
Separately, whisk the egg whites for about 5 minutes until white and frothy.
Add the brandy soaked prunes (but not the brandy) to the chocolate mixture then gently fold in the egg whites. Take your time doing this bit.
Tip the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool. It will be very moist and cracked on top so take care when transferring it onto a plate. Once cooled, dust with cocoa. 

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