I will make this cake again. It contains fair trade orangey chocolate, it contains treacle and ginger, it contains prunes (which I love), it is dense and moist and dark brown in colour, it wrapped and travelled well, it got a rapturous response from Eco Sis: what's not to like? Interestingly, Eco Sis didn't pick up on the ginger immediately but it was because she was intrigued to guess what the moist little flecks she could see were (the prunes). Once I told her what it was she said she could definitely taste both ginger and chocolate. It was harder for me to assess fairly since I knew what was in it but I thought the combination of ginger and chocolate worked really well, especially with the added richness of the prunes.
Clearly not chocolate ginger cake, but so cute as to be almost edible, and sort of chocolatey coloured. She's wedged herself in a very small space between me and The Scientist on the sofa, and is lying on one of our legs each!
Although this wasn't previously a family favourite this cake went down so well with the Ecos that I am sending to Not Quite Nigella for her Ultimate Chocolate Cake Challenge.
Chocolate Spice Gingerbread (from the Green and Black's Chocolate Recipes cookbook)
125 g unsalted butter
50g Maya Gold or other good-quality dark orange chocolate, broken into pieces
50g dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids, broken into pieces
75g dark muscovado sugar
4 tbsp treacle
125g ready-to-eat prunes
175g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 level tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Line an 18cm square cake tin (I used a standard loaf pan) with greaseproof paper or baking parchment
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a heavy saucepan along with the chocolate, sugar, treacle and buttermilk. Heat gently until the ingredients have melted, then set aside to cool.
Snip the prunes into small pieces with the kitchen scissors. Sift the flour into a large bowl along with the bicarb of soda and spices. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon, then add the beaten egg and beat again. Fold in the prunes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level off the surface using a palette knife. Bake for about 50 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 10 mins. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container.
The cake will keep for a week in an airtight container. It is best eaten the day after it is made.