There are all kinds of interesting tid-bits about this recipe...it was inspired by a Bon Appetite recipe from 1992, for instance. It's also a Jewish (thus kosher) and a gluten-free cake. I made it to take to a lunch that ended up being canceled due to Swine Flu, but it was eaten heartily over the weekend no less by various visitors and on the terrace for lunch. It's a lovely cake - dense and moist, but not particularly sweet - the rich flavors complement the fall weather well. The prunes and nuts add a lovely combination of crunchy, juicy textures to the velvety cake bit. Admittedly, it's not our favorite cake and it takes quite a while to make. However, it is certainly sophisticated and would be excellent served with a fine red wine or at a tea party.
Should be made a day ahead. Can be made 3 days ahead...cover loosely with foil and keep refrigerated.
- 1 1/2 cups prunes, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 cup prune juice (I used apple juice...no prune juice in sight around here)
- 1 cup butter
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (I used 74%), chopped
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 8 eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350F degrees. Position oven rack on the middle shelf.
- Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan. Dust with cocoa powder, tap out excess, and set aside.
- Place prunes and juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a heavy sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder - whisk until smooth. Mix in walnuts and prune mixture.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt until foaming. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended.
- Transfer to prepared spring-form pan. Set spring-form into a larger baking dish/pan and fill with enough hot water to reach the mid-point of the spring-form. Set in the oven and bake until inserted knife comes out mostly clean, about an hour. If your oven is tiny, gently cover with foil so the top doesn't burn.
- When baked, allow to cool 30 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and refrigerate overnight.
- 1 cup prune juice (again, I used apple juice)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 24 walnut halves
- In a sauce pan, bring the juice and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
- Cool, stirring occasionally, until thick, but pourable.
- Dip walnut halfway into the glaze and set on foiled surface (like a baking sheet or cutting board). Refrigerate to set.
- Pour glaze over cake, covering completely. Refrigerate until set - about 3 hours.