In the recent times I have come across many people who have special dietary needs. A lot of people I know are gluten, dairy or lentil free. Sometimes, they are off all products that fall in these categories. It becomes especially hard during the festive season when one sees so many goodies around and not much to nibble on, it can be really hard. I have been in tune with these special needs as I belong to a family that is filled with people who cannot eat one thing or the other, either during to severe intolerance or allergy to one or more food category and hence menu planning is always done with the utmost care at my place.
When I came across this recipe recently I took a picture of it and bookmarked it to be tried out soon. This recipe is perfect for those who are only gluten free as the cake contains almonds (nuts), eggs (dairy), cream (dairy) and chocolate (dairy)
This cake is so delicious that it will definitely sparkle on your festive menu. My friends who tasted it said it was really very rich! Use the best quality dark chocolate you can afford to make this cake a real winner. Then just sit back and wait for the compliments to pour in! Who says you can't have the cake and eat it too?
So here's presenting the prune and chocolate dessert cake, the new definition for festive decadence!
Prune and Chocolate Dessert Cake ~ Gluten Free
Prep time: 15 mins | Bake time 40-45mins | Serves: 8
- 100(3-1/2 oz) grams seedless prunes, finely chopped
- 100 ml (3-1/2 fl oz) brandy or tea * see notes
- 100 grams (3-1/2 oz) ground almonds (almond powder)
- 125 grams (4-1/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 150 grams (5-1/2 oz) caster sugar * see notes
- 250 grams (9oz) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 eggs, separated * see notes
- pinch of salt
- cocoa powder, sifted, to dust
- whipped cream to serve (optional)
1. Soak the finely chopped prunes in the brandy or tea overnight. The longer you soak the stronger the flavours. Alternatively, if you don't have time to soak, just heat the brandy or tea lightly and cook the prunes in it for a few minutes or until the prunes have absorbed most of the liquid. Cool completely.
2. When you are ready to bake, grease a 9" springform pan and line the base with baking parchment. Alternatively you may use a regular tin of the same size but make sure it is greased and lined with parchment completely (base and sides as well) - this is because the cake is delicate and can crumble easily when you try to remove it. Preheat oven to 180 C
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place it over a small saucepan of simmering water taking care to see that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Stir to melt completely and then let the mixture cool.
4. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks and the sugar till well blended. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, the almond powder, the prunes and its soaking liquid to it and mix well.
5. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt till soft peaks appear. Add this to the chocolate mixture, 2-3 tablespoons at a time and fold (not beat) gently into the mixture till everything is mixed.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothen the surface using a spatula and bake for 40-45 minutes or till the surface appears springy. The skewer or toothpick inserted may not come out completely clean as the cake is meant to be extremely soft and moist inside
7. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in its tin for a while, then turn it onto a wire rack to cool
8. To serve, invert it upside down onto a cake stand/serving plate for a smoother finish to the top. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with cream.
1. If you are soaking the prunes in tea then just brew some tea powder (approx 1/2-3/3th teaspoon) in 1/2 cup of water. Strain off the tea leaves before using. Do not add milk. You can substitute the brandy with rum.
2. If you don't have caster sugar just measure out 150gms of regular, granulated sugar and then powder it in your mixie.
3. Make sure that you don't get any yolk into the egg whites while separating them. This is essential to get the egg whites to form soft peaks
Labels: Dark Chocolate, Festive Baking, Gluten Free, Prune and Chocolate Dessert Cake, Prunes