Here is the recipe for a Chocolate-Prune cake, inspired by legendary pastry chef David Leibovitz, of Chez Panisse fame. This is intensely chocolatey: there is no flour or nuts to distract here, just melted chocolate. We used our 70% Belize single origin dark chocolate buttons. The cake is bound together with prunes soaked in Pedro Ximinez, adding a deep caramel sweetness and fudgey texture. For an extra punch, we glazed the cake with a Pedro Ximenez ganache. You can eat warm (and very gooey) from the oven, or direct from the fridge once set.
For the prunes
200g prunes, roughly chopped in small pieces
100 ml Pedro Ximenez (or sherry)
For the cake
340g dark chocolate (we use our 70% Belize dark chocolate buttons)
170g unsalted butter, cubed
6 large eggs, yolks separated from whites
large pinch of salt
40g white sugar
50g 60% drinking chocolate (or cacao powder)
For the Pedro Ximenez ganache
200g dark chocolate (we use our 70% Belize dark chocolate buttons)
140g pouring cream
60g Pedro Ximenez (or sherry)
Simmer the prunes with Pedro Ximinez in a small pot until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand until cool.
Preheat the oven to 165ºC. Butter a 23cm springform pan. Dust the inside with drinking chocolate, and tap out any excess.
In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the prunes and any liquid left in the pan.
Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture.
In a separate bowl, or using a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they begin to hold soft peaks. Continue whipping, adding the white sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the whites hold their shape.
Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, just until no streaks of whites are visible. Don’t overfold. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake pull away from the tin, but the center is still soft to the touch. Let cool.
For the ganache, slowly heat cream and Pedro Ximenez in a saucepan until just below boiling point, taking care not to overheat.
Remove from heat. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Cover with a plate and let stand for 3 minutes before stirring. To mix through, use a spatula, stirring from the middle with small circular motions, until smooth and glossy. Be careful not to overmix.
Pour ganache over the cake. To ensure a smooth finish, avoid using a spatula, instead pour ganache in the centre of the cake and gently tilt so the ganache runs to the edges.
Serving note: This cake is very moist, which can make it a bit challenging to get a clean slice. Dip the knife in very hot water, wipe the blade dry and use it to slice the cake. Repeat for each slice. Alternatively, let the cake cool in the fridge, and once set, slice and eat chilled.