I am in the midst of a Shitty Week. This isn’t the time or the place to go into details, so let’s just call it Shitty Week.
Some people comfort eat in times of stress. Not me, I comfort cook. I’ve had my eye on this Richard Bertinet recipe since I spotted it in the Christmas edition of Jamie magazine but hadn’t got around to cooking it – who is going to eat a warm chocolate cake that’s big enough to feed at least 10?
But this is Shitty Week and so sod it, chocolate armagnac cake it is.
The original recipe calls for rum which I’ve subbed for armagnac (I’ve had a bottle of 1919 rum bought from Tobago 5 years ago with barely a dent in it. I’m not a rum girl) and also uses ‘ready-to-eat prunes’. I think he mean the semi-dried ones, which had all sold out when I went to the supermarket, so I substituted for a small can (which incidentally were dirt cheap, about 80p). I am sure it’s made the cake slightly more mousse-like than intended…but we work with what we’ve got. I’ve also used 50% dark chocolate rather than the 70% stipulated.
Warm Chocolate Armagnac Cake
Adapted from original recipe by Richard Bertinet, p97 of Jamie Magazine (Dec 14)
100g prunes, ready-to-eat or canned (take the stones out)
100g plain flour
200g plain chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
Soak the prunes in the armagnac for an hour or so. If using dried ones, leave for a couple of days if you can. Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line a 19cm round tin. Tip a little cocoa around the base and sides of the tin and pour out the excess.
Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over hot water, then leave to cool slightly. Chop the prunes, reserving the soaking liquid. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until voluminous, pale and creamy – it took about 10 minutes using a hand whisk. Stir the chocolate mixture into the eggs, then fold in the flour, cinnamon and prunes with their liquid.
Pour the lot into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes until risen. If you put a skewer in the centre of the cake, it should still be moist when removed. Cool, dust with cocoa then serve – warm with creme fraiche. I have a feeling this cake might improve on being kept for a day or two.