Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 140 g (5 oz) stoned ready-to-eat prunes

  2. 150 ml (5 fl oz) boiling water

  3. 55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  4. 140 g (5 oz) light muscovado sugar

  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  6. 2 eggs, beaten

  7. 100 g (3 1/2 oz) self-raising white flour

  8. 100 g (3 1/2 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour

  9. 1 tsp baking powder

  10. 4 tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra to dust Ricotta frosting:

  11. 250 g (8 1/2 oz) ricotta cheese

  12. 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  13. 1 tbsp icing sugar, or to taste, sifted

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Place the prunes in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Grease a 20 cm (8 in) ring tin, 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) in capacity.

  3. Beat the butter until soft and light, then gradually beat in the sugar. Purée the prunes with their soaking liquid in a blender until smooth, then add to the butter and sugar mixture with the vanilla extract, beating until well mixed. Gradually beat in the eggs.

  4. Sift the white flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder and cocoa powder over the mixture, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Fold in the dry ingredients until evenly combined in a mixture that has a soft dropping consistency, adding a little water if necessary. Transfer it to the ring tin and spread it out evenly.

  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until well risen, slightly cracked on top and firm to the touch. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool. (The cake can be kept in an airtight tin for 3 days, before adding the topping.) 6. To make the frosting, press the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar, and beat until smooth.

  6. Place the cake on a serving plate and spoon the ricotta frosting evenly around the top. Use a knife to swirl the frosting slightly, taking it a short way down the side of the cake. Place a little cocoa powder in a tea strainer or small sieve and dust it over the frosting. Serve as soon as possible.


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