Prune & Armagnac cake

Prune & Armagnac cake

dessert recipes | serves 10

Renowned pastry chef Will Torrent created some spectacular desserts for last year's Christmas issue, and his rich prune cake spiked with heady Armagnac. Will says, ?I love to make this brownie-style cake as a lovely alternative to Christmas pudding.? You could always start soaking your prunes weeks in advance ? the longer you leave them the better the flavour will be!

1. You can do this step well in advance, otherwise, make it the night before. Place the Armagnac in a pan with the zest and spices and bring to the boil. Pop the prunes in a bowl, pour over the spiced Armagnac, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge.
2. When ready to make the cake, line a 20cm cake tin and preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, then take off the heat.
3. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whip the egg whites with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until it forms hard peaks. Place the yolks and remaining sugar in another bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes, until you can draw a figure of 8 in it and it retains its shape.
4. Pour the chocolate into the whisked yolks and stir to incorporate. Roughly purée the prunes in a food processor, then fold them into the mixture.
5. Combine the flour and ground almonds in a bowl then fold into the chocolate mixture. Carefully fold in the egg whites, in three stages, so you don?t lose any of the air you have whisked into it.
6. Once everything is thoroughly mixed in, pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly before turning out onto a plate and dusting with cocoa powder. Serve with more hot Armagnac-soaked prunes on the side.


Recipe Will Torrent
Photo Brett Stevens

from Issue 44


? 50ml Armagnac
? Zest of 1 orange
? 1 tsp ground cinnamon
? 1 tsp mixed spice
? ½ tsp ground nutmeg
? A pinch of ground cloves
? 130g semi-dried prunes
? 250g 70% dark chocolate
? 200g salted butter
? 5 eggs, separated
? 100g caster sugar
? 75g plain flour
? 75g ground almonds
? Cocoa powder, for dusting

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