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You don’t have to be a professional baker to make this deliciously gooey cake.
Milk Street Bowtie Chocolate, Prune and Rum Cake

Chocolate, Prune and Rum Cake

1 hr 20 min 30 min active

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Chocolate, Prune and Rum Cake

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We were smitten with Claire Ptak’s chocolate, prune and whiskey cake, but when we got the recipe back to Milk Street we knew we needed to make adjustments. Most home bakers aren’t as skilled as Ptak, and we wanted a cake people would fall in love with on the first try – as we did when we tasted her version. Her cake is deliciously gooey at the center, and we wanted to keep that. A ratio of 3:1 chocolate to butter – as well as 8 ounces of chopped pitted prunes – got us the results we wanted. We tried a variety of chocolates and preferred bar chocolates with 60 to 70 percent cacao (especially the Ghirardelli and Guittard brands). Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that can change the cake’s texture; it’s best to avoid them. Ptak uses almond flour, not an uncommon ingredient in flourless chocolate cakes such as this, but certainly not a common ingredient in American homes. In an effort to streamline, we reworked the cake a bit to leave it out and found the results just as good. At first we questioned the need to whip the egg yolks and whites separately, but we discovered it made a big difference. Whipping the yolks helps maintain the emulsion of chocolate and butter; skipping that step produced an unpleasantly dense cake. And of course by now we understood the value of under-whipping the egg whites and just barely mixing them into the batter. Ptak originally made this cake with Armagnac, but later switched to whiskey. We couldn’t easily find the former, and the latter – while delicious once the cake was cooled – tasted harsh when the cake was warm (and this cake begs to be eaten warm). We found dark rum tasted delicious warm or cooled and better complemented the molasses.

12

Servings

Tip

Don’t over-bake this cake. Don’t be alarmed if the center still jiggles a bit and yields to gentle pressure; the cake will continue to set after it comes out of the oven.

1 hr 20 min

30 min active

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) salted butter (1 tablespoon softened)
8 ounces pitted prunes (about 1½ cups), finely chopped
⅓ cup dark rum
1 tablespoon molasses
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large eggs, separated
125 grams (1/3 cup plus ¼ cup) white sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
Ingredients
  • 9

    tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) salted butter (1 tablespoon softened)

  • 8

    ounces pitted prunes (about 1½ cups), finely chopped

  • cup dark rum

  • 1

    tablespoon molasses

  • 12

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 6

    large eggs, separated

  • 125

    grams (⅓ cup plus ¼ cup) white sugar

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan evenly with the tablespoon of softened butter. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the prunes, rum and molasses. Microwave until the rum is bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    See Demo
    Make the Prune Mixture
  2. 02
    In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter. Remove from the heat and immediately add the chocolate, then whisk until melted and completely smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 71 grams (⅓ cup) of sugar until pale and glossy, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture and continue whisking until smooth. Stir in the prune mixture.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until light and foamy, about 1 minute. With the mixer running, slowly sprinkle in the remaining 54 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and continue to whip until the whites are thick and glossy and hold soft peaks, about 1 minute.
    See Demo
    Whip the Egg Whites
  4. 04
    Whisk ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula until the batter is marbled but not fully blended.
    See Demo
  5. 05
    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If needed, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the edges of the cake are firm and cracked, 35 to 40 minutes. The center will be just set, yet soft to the touch. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving (the cake will settle and sink as it cools).
    See Demo
    Bake and Cool
Tip: Don’t over-bake this cake. Don’t be alarmed if the center still jiggles a bit and yields to gentle pressure; the cake will continue to set after it comes out of the oven.
.
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Reviews
Chris B.
June 23, 2022
Outstanding
Outstanding
Michele R.

All of the ingredients are things we love and our taste buds had high expectations for flavor that weren't quite met for them in the outcome here. Made per recipe but... Side note is we found this much better the day it was baked than as leftovers the next day. We were glad we tried it but it would not be a repeat. Different strokes for different folks.

Cora D.

Completely agree with Michele's comment. This tasted off; the prunes, bittersweet chocolate, and rum combo do not taste good together. The texture of the prunes in the cake is unfortunate. It was a disappointing result considering it sounded so delicious!

Sarah W.

I made this and found it inedible. The flavor of the rum was so strong it overwhelmed any other flavors. It tasted like it had been soaked in raw alcohol. I had to throw it away.

Sam L.

We made this last night for my birthday. We should have looked at these posted comments. Both my wife and I agree , this cake was horrible . What a waste of time and ingredients.

Scott P.

No, this cake is not for everyone, but I found the flavor combo bold and delicious. I topped it with Greek-yogurt-flavored whipped cream.

Andree B.

I made this cake for Valentine’s Day, was excited by the combination of prunes, molasses and dark rum, all ingredients I love. As it baked I found the smell a bit “curious”, not the nice chocolate smell I was expecting. The cake looked beautiful and cut wonderfully with a very nice moist crumb; but the taste was disappointing. I don’t think the dark rum worked well, may try again using brandy. I agree with the comments above that the cake tasted better the second day and is certainly not for everyone, but it won’t be wasted! Topped with frozen vanilla yogurt helps tone down the “peculiar” flavour.


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Chocolate, Prune and Rum Cake

Get Ready to Cook

12

Servings

1 hr 20 min

30 min active

Tip

Don’t over-bake this cake. Don’t be alarmed if the center still jiggles a bit and yields to gentle pressure; the cake will continue to set after it comes out of the oven.

Ingredients
  • 9

    tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) salted butter (1 tablespoon softened)

  • 8

    ounces pitted prunes (about 1½ cups), finely chopped

  • cup dark rum

  • 1

    tablespoon molasses

  • 12

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 6

    large eggs, separated

  • 125

    grams (⅓ cup plus ¼ cup) white sugar

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

Step 1 of 5

Make the Prune Mixture

1
tablespoons salted butter, softened
8
ounces pitted prunes (about 1½ cups), finely chopped
cup dark rum
1
tablespoon molasses

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan evenly with the tablespoon of softened butter.


In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the prunes, rum and molasses. Microwave until the rum is bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2 of 5

Make the Chocolate Mixture

8
tablespoons salted butter
12
ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6
egg yolks
71
grams (⅓ cup) white sugar

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter.


Remove from the heat and immediately add the chocolate, then whisk until melted and completely smooth.


In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 71 grams (⅓ cup) of sugar until pale and glossy, about 30 seconds.


Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture and continue whisking until smooth. Stir in the prune mixture.

Step 3 of 5

Whip the Egg Whites

6
egg whites
¼
teaspoon table salt
54
grams (¼ cup) white sugar

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until light and foamy, about 1 minute.


With the mixer running, slowly sprinkle in the remaining 54 grams (¼ cup) of sugar and continue to whip until the whites are thick and glossy and hold soft peaks, about 1 minute.

Step 4 of 5

Fold the Egg Whites and Chocolate Mixture

Whisk ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.


Gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula until the batter is marbled but not fully blended.

Step 5 of 5

Bake and Cool

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If needed, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the edges of the cake are firm and cracked, 35 to 40 minutes. The center will be just set, yet soft to the touch.


Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving (the cake will settle and sink as it cools).

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