This is such a deeply satisfying dessert. The bittersweet chocolate, the plums and the booze all combine to make for a very grown up sort of treat. These cakes would be amazing for Christmas, Christmas Eve or boxing day desert….I guess at this point it would have to be boxing day. They remind me a bit of an old-fashioned, British plum pudding. They even have boozy plums hidden inside of them. I had to stop myself from sticking my thumb in and exclaiming “What a good girl am I!”I adapted this from the sticky chocolate loaf recipe in wonderful cookbook Ottolenghi. I did not have any treacle on hand so I used sorghum syrup instead. The flavour of the sorghum syrup is really fabulous here, but I am sure that treacle or Lyle’s golden syrup would be good too. Since I was already using sorghum syrup I decided to use sorghum flour with a bit of brown rice flour and tapioca flour to make the cake gluten-free. If you can eat gluten, just use a cup of wheat flour in the place of the three gluten-free flours used here. I also changed the glaze, as the original made the pudding a bit too damp for my taste. Lastly, I highly recommend making them in tiny bundt pans or muffin tins. This is a very rich desert and a person does not really need more than a few bites of it.
I am proud to say that this recipe was featured in The Guardian: Cook in their article about The 10 Best Plum Recipes! It is nice to have a recipe placed in such good company. I am very excited to try the Hyderbadi Chicken Kofta with Plums!
adapted from Ottolenghi
For 12 mini bundt pans or muffins tins
- butter and rice flour to dust the pans
- 8 oz dried prunes, pitted (about 24 prunes) or 24 fresh prune plums
- 3 Tb Armagnac or Cognac
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil (or some other mild oil)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons sorghum syrup or treacle
- 1/3 cup sorghum flour
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- a pinch of salt
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
For the Syrup
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Armagnac or Cognac
- If using fresh prune plums you will need to oven dry them. Preheat the oven to to 200 degrees. Spread the plums in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 tbsp each of the icing sugar and the armagnac and bake for a few hours, shaking the pan once or twice an hour. When half-dried and much like mi-cuit plums, remove from the oven and set aside. Reserve the juices for the glaze.
- Increase or Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 12 mini bundt pans or muffin tins and dust them lightly with rice flour.
- Warm half of the prunes in a small saucepan with the booze then set aside.
- Puree the remaining prunes along with the buttermilk or yogurt and the oil until you have a light shiny paste.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg, sugars and sorghum syrup or treacle into the prune and buttermilk puree.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet with a spatula. Fold the chopped chocolate into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the mini bundt pans or muffin tins so that it is evenly divided.
- Press a booze soaked prune them into the surface of each of the cakes.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer come out clean. Be careful not to over-bake them!
- While the cakes bake make the syrup by dissolving the powdered sugar in the soaking liquid from the prunes along with an additional 2 Tablespoons of Armagnac (and leftover pan juices, if you have them).
- When the cakes are done, allow them to cool a bit. Unmold the cakes and drizzle them with the syrup. Allow the cakes to soak up the syrup before eating.