Dark Chocolate Fruit & Nut Cake

Happy Mother’s day to all you lovely mum’s, especially mine! My mum taught me to cook from an early age and although she’s taught me many things, the ability to cook is one of the biggest gifts I could ask for, it brings me endless joy.

Today I was lucky enough to be able to cook a meal for my mum and family, having also spent the entire weekend in the kitchen for various other dishes, my heart is full. Tonight we ate rhubarb and ginger belly pork, spiced winter vegetable cous cous and also the traditional roast accompaniments but it is the dessert I want to talk about.

I wanted to make a cake that mum would reallllllly enjoy, that she wouldn’t ordinarily make or buy because she shouldn’t, or the kids wouldn’t like it or that she didn’t have the time. I’ve made a few cakes over the years but wanted to try something new. I had a moment of inspiration when I saw Gingerbread Jenn’s post and decided to mix it up slightly with some extra fruit and a glug of brandy, to make this version. I soaked the fruit in brandy for a few days before making the cake but you could boil them in a little brandy (and a splash of water) or soak them in hot tea for a few hours instead, whatever the time scale permits.
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Mum loves fruit and nut chocolate and she thankfully loved this cake too (as did I, it was dangerously good, if not a tad crumbly due to its brownie tendancies). It was simultaneously decadent but not too rich and completely divine. I’ve eaten far too much cake this weekend, with today being mother’s day and yesterday being pi day (of the century). I made a monster of a carrot cake for pi day, which I’ll share with you soon.

Ingredients:

  • 175 g of unsalted butter
  • 300 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), split into 225 g and 75 g
  • 200 g of caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, separated
  • 65 g of white spelt (or plain) flour
  • 175 g of mixed dried fruit, soaked in a generous glug of brandy (or tea), plus extra to decorate
  • 65 g of mixed chopped nuts, plus extra nuts to decorate

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the bottom and grease a 20 cm cake tin.
  2. In a small pan, melt the butter and sugar, remove it from the heat and then stir in the 225 g of chocolate (broken into chunks) until melted.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl and whisk in the egg yolks and flour.
  4. Fold in the fruit and nuts.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, let the cake cool in its tin for 10 minutes, before removing it from the tin. Handle it with a little care, it isn’t the most structurally sound of cakes.
  9. Let the cake cool completely and then carefully move it onto a plate.
  10. Once the cake has cooled completely, melt the 75 g of chocolate in a glass bowl, 30 s at a time, in the microwave.
  11. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake, sprinkle with dried fruit and nuts and (if you can) let the chocolate set.
  12. Slice and serve, as it is or with a drizzle of cream.
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