Problem with the Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Cake
Having only recently, for the same reason as half the rest of the country, discovered the pleasure of baking cakes regularly (& so far amazingly successfully, including Delia’s divine Austrian Coffee & Walnut and Coffee & Cardamon cakes, both made 3 times now) my Waterloo has been Delia’s Chocolate, Prune & Armagnac cake. First of all the actual cake was definitely not soufflé-like, just rather dull cake. What did I do there? Secondly the chocolate topping was fine & glossy for dipping the prunes, but turned grainy & flat when I added the creme fraiche. So the cake looked nothing like your picture and was really only just edible. I did use the correct sponge tins, scrupulously clean bowl & whisk for the egg whites. Also Green & Black’s cocoa powder. The things I didn’t have were Armagnac, so used Brandy; I only had 200 g of pruneaux d’Agen so added 200g of M&S pitted prunes; and didn’t have 75% chocolate so used half 70% and half 85%. Sorry this is so rambling a question but I was so dispirited by this setback I took to drink. Thank you anyway
I’m pleased to hear that you have had some successes. I made the Austrian Coffee and Walnut Cake on Friday.
Regarding the Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Cake… few things to consider here…
For the cake – It sounds like you may have over cooked it. It could be that your oven is running high or that your using a fan oven.
For the chocolate topping… couple of things here… it may be that you overheated the chocolate. Barely simmering so the chocolate melts very slowly is important. After dipping the prunes Delia adds a tablespoon of crème fraiche to the remaining melted chocolate – bear in mind that Delia uses an old-fashioned tablespoon that is equivalent to two dessertspoons.
The squidgy chocolate cake is the similar (but slightly sweeter) and is shown on the cookery school if you want to take a look …
Lesson 8. Chocolate Cakes