by Christine Burns Rudalevige | Photographs by Dominic Perri
Katie Webster is a food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who focuses on seasonal, healthy eating in the Burlington, Vermont, area. She eats chocolate every single day. With this recipe, she sneaks in a cup of pitted prunes to add both moisture and fiber to this dense torte. You really only notice the chocolate. Webster blogs at HealthySeasonalRecipes.com and is working on her first cookbook: It’s about cooking sweet and savory dishes with maple syrup. Serves 8.
1 cup pitted prunes, about 14 prunes
1 cup boiling water, plus more for water bath
1 cup (100 grams) best-quality cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 ounces (85 grams) dark chocolate, finely chopped and melted
Place prunes in a large heatproof measuring cup or small bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them and allow to soften and cool, about 30 minutes.
Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil.
Meanwhile, place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom of springform pan in a double layer of foil to prevent leaks from water bath. Set in a large roasting pan.
Whisk cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Purée prunes and their soaking liquid in a blender until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla and purée until smooth. Drizzle chocolate through feed tube while motor is running and purée until fully combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until completely combined.
Spread batter in the prepared pan. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan, around the springform pan to create a hot water bath. The water should reach about halfway up the side of the cake pan. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven and bake until the torte is puffed, starting to crack slightly, and jiggles as a whole when the pan is tilted, 38 to 42 minutes. It will not seem firm like a cake with flour but will firm up as it cools.
Remove from water bath and carefully remove foil from sides. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
Chill in refrigerator until cold and firm, about 2 hours. Remove pan sides, sprinkle with cocoa powder or confectioner’s sugar, and slice to serve.