July 6, 2015
At Home with Friends


Chocolate Prune Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

My Chocolate Prune Cardamom Cookies and the combination was so scrumptious I went in search of other chocolate prune recipes. I found David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Prune Cake that he took to a dinner party in Paris. I figured if it was good enough for a dinner party in Paris, it was fine for Game Night in Beverly Hills.

I loved the recipe which contains no flour, just oodles of chocolate and prunes. It’s definitely for chocolate lovers: Not too sweet but just so chocolatey.

David Lebovitz suggests serving it with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce, which I included. I also figured some fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream couldn’t hurt.

Try not to overcook the cake or burn the sauce. I did both. My friends were polite and pretended not to notice, as the cake disappeared.

Add this to your dessert repertoire. The only change I made was to use Armagnac instead of rum. This is for serious chocolate lovers, which includes me. And it’s okay for breakfast because it includes prunes, right?


EVENT: Game Night
SERVES: 10-12 People (One 9-Inch Cake)

6 oz pitted prunes, diced in small pieces *
1/3 cup Armagnac
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
Extra butter for pan and cocoa powder

One 9-inch springform pan


1. In a small saucepan, simmer the prunes with the Armagnac and the sugar for a few minutes, until most of the moisture is absorbed. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust the inside with flour or cocoa powder.

4. In a large bowl, set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the prunes and any liquid in the pan. Stir in the egg yolks.

6. In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt until they begin to hold soft peaks.

7. Continue whipping, adding the 3 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, until other egg whites hold the shape.

8. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture thoroughly, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Don’t overfold!

9. Pour into pan. Using offset spatula, gently even cake.

10. Bake 40-45 minutes until the edges feel set and the center is still soft. Cool completely.

11. Run knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan and remove the sides, dip knife in hot water to get clean slice.

12. Serve with Salted Caramel Sauce, fresh Whipped Cream and fresh berries.

Can be stored room temperature up to 3 days or frozen for two months.

* A NOTE: I purchase the prunes at Costco.


EVENT: Game Night

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 ml) water
6 tablespoons (3 ounces / 85 g) salted butter, cubed, at room temperature
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)


1. Spread the sugar in a large skillet or wide saucepan and pour the water over it. Heat the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan very gently, just enough to moisten the sugar evenly with the water.

2. Once the sugar is moistened and starting to cook, swirl the pan only if there are dry spots of sugar that aren’t melting. Continue to cook the sugar until it begins to darken. Watching carefully, gently swirl the pan, only if necessary, so it cooks evenly. (If the sugar starts to crystallize, continue cooking, stirring only if you see very dark or burnt spots appearing, and the crystals should eventually smooth out.)

3. When the caramel is deep amber color and begins to smoke, remove the pan from the heat and drop in the cubes of butter. Stir the butter in with a whisk until it’s completely melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring until the sauce is smooth. If there are stubborn bits of caramel stuck to the bottom, loosen them with a wooden spoon and stir them in. If they refuse to melt, rewarm the sauce over low heat, which should to the trick. Once the sauce is cool enough to taste, you may want to add a bit of salt.

4. The sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be reheated before serving. If cooled and rewarmed, it may need to be thinned with a bit of cream of milk.


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