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Recipe from the mystery "Sweet Revenge" by Andrea Penrose. The book is a mouthwatering combination of suspense and chocolate.
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup stout beer (pour stout slowly into measuring cup, do not measure foam)
- 1⁄2 cup soft pitted prunes, chopped
- 3 1⁄2 fine quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use only bittersweet)
- 1 1⁄4 cups flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly brush 6 cup Bundt pan or 8"x3" ovenproof ring mold with half the melted butter and chill 2 minutes. Butter again with remaining melted butter then chill until pan is needed.
- Bring stout to a boil in a small saucepan and add prunes. Remove from heat and let stand until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Melt the chocolate and 1/2 cup unsalted butter together in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Beat together eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick, about 2 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and beat until just combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in prune mixture until combined well. Spoon batter into pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
- Cool cake in mold on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
Acutally, this turned out great. I loved the idea of the prunes, since that adds to the moisture and "chocolately" taste. Now, if we can cut down a little on the butter by substituting oil and applesauce, it will be even better. But this tastes great, looks great, smells great and guests will love it.