Delia

Chocolate and Prune Brownies - Unlive

I never much cared for the flavour of orange and chocolate or raspberries and chocolate, but prunes and chocolate are, for me, a heavenly partnership. Plus, if, for a special occasion, you soak the prunes in Armagnac as I have done here, so much the better. Brownies can be served warm as a dessert or just eaten cold as they are.


Makes 15




Chocolate and Prune Brownies  - Unlive
Ingredients
 2 oz (50 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
 2 oz (50 g) pitted pruneaux d'Agen, chopped and soaked overnight in 2 fl oz (55 ml) Armagnac
 2 oz (50 g) skin-on almonds
 4 oz (110 g) butter
 2 large eggs, beaten
 8 oz (225 g) demerara sugar
 2 oz (50 g) plain flour
 1 level teaspoon baking powder
 ¼ level teaspoon salt
Equipment
You will also need a non-stick baking tin measuring 10 x 6 inches (25.5 x 15 cm) and 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep, lightly greased and lined with silicone paper (baking parchment).

Method

Begin this the night before you are going to make the brownies by soaking the chopped prunes in the Armagnac. The next day, begin by pre-heating the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C), then chop the almonds roughly, place them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 8 minutes. Please use a timer here, or you'll be throwing burnt nuts away all day.
While the almonds are toasting, put the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl fitted over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt – 4-5 minutes – remove it from the heat, then beat till smooth. Next, stir in the other ingredients, including the prunes and Armagnac, until well blended. Now spread the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf for 30 minutes, or until slightly springy in the centre, then leave it to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and transferring to a wire rack.
_This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and Delia's Vegetarian Collection._

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