Delia

Moist Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Squares - Unlive for Delia's Cakes

This is an Easter chocolate fix, intensely chocolatey and very rich – so if you gave up chocolate for Lent, it’s just the thing to re-initiate you into the whole chocolate experience.







Moist Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Squares  - Unlive for Delia's Cakes
Ingredients
 5 oz (150 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), roughly grated
 3 oz (75 g) pitted pruneaux d’Agen, chopped and soaked overnight in
 3 fl oz (75 ml) Armagnac
 5 oz (150 g) butter, at room temperature
 5 oz (150 g) golden caster sugar
 5 large eggs, separated
 5 oz (150 g) ground almonds
 9 mini Easter eggs, to decorate
 7 fl oz (200 ml) crème fraîche, to serve
For the icing:
 4 oz (110 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
 3 tablespoons Armagnac
 1 level tablespoon double cream
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F, 170°C.
Equipment
You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin, generously brushed with melted butter and the base and sides lined with silicone paper (baking parchment). See How To Line a Cake Tin.

Method

First cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Lightly beat the egg yolks together and then add them to the mixture, bit by bit. Then carefully fold in the ground almonds, grated chocolate and the chopped soaked prunes along with any of the soaking liquid.

Now, whisk the egg whites with either an electric hand whisk or a balloon whisk until they form soft peaks – not too stiff – and fold them into the chocolate mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 55 minutes to 1 hour or until it feels springy in the centre. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then loosen the edges and turn it out on to a wire rack and strip off the lining paper, turning it the right way up afterwards. Then, sprinkle the surface of the cake with one of the 3 tablespoons of Armagnac.

Now put the broken-up chocolate in a heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly, which should take about 5 minutes. When it’s melted, take it off the heat and stir in the cream and the second tablespoon of Armagnac. Now spread the cake with the chocolate icing and decorate with mini Easter eggs.

When the icing has set, cut the cake into nine squares. Mix the remaining tablespoon of Armagnac into the crème fraîche and serve with the cake.

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