Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Spicy Chocolate & Prune Gingerbread

Loaf Cakes | 3rd June 2010 | By

Summer finally arrived a couple of weeks ago and cooking, especially cakes, suddenly didn’t seem quite so appealing. I had, however, a Transition meeting to attend that Monday evening where we were all meant to bring along some food to share. So despite the heat on Sunday, I made a cake – a prune cake from Unwrapped – it sounded rather yummy and smelled wonderful.

This is what I did:
  • Melted 125g unsalted butter together with, 100g Maya Gold, 2 tbsp treacle and 3oz muscovado sugar in a pan.
  • Sifted 175g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 1 tsp bicarb of soda, 2 tsp ground ginger & 1 tsp cinnamon into a bowl.
  • Snipped 125g pitted prunes into pieces and tossed in flour.
  • Made a well in the centre, poured in chocolate mixture and stirred.
  • Beat in 1 duck egg.
  • Stirred in 100g Greek yogurt and 50g water (recipe stated 150g buttermilk).
  • Poured into a 2lb loaf thingie and baked at 160C for 50 mins.
The whole house smelt really good for ages, so I forgave the cake for the hot kitchen its creation had engendered. This cake was wonderful – a fine texture and really smooth in the mouth. It was light, moist, not too sweet and well flavoured without being overly spicy. It also kept really well. I know this because we got to take the remaining quarter home. I put it in a tin, then forgot about it until last night – it was not only entirely edible, but even more delicious.
I’m off to Bath with CT and a friend this morning for a couple of days. I hardly know Bath at all, so am looking forward to taking in the sights. However, this is not a simple sightseeing tour, but a much anticipated day spent with Rachel Demuth at her vegetarian cookery school where we will be making Middle Eastern mezze. Meanwhile CT will wander the streets in search of anything interesting in the botanical line.


  1. Lucie

    3rd June 2010 at 9:29 am

    This looks a wonderful bake – beautifully presented too. Enjoy Bath – it is a lovely City.

  2. Emmalene

    3rd June 2010 at 11:12 am

    Lovely-dates would be good too, but would give a slightly different flavour. Have you also tried (you probably have) Nigella’s chocolate gingerbread?

  3. Emmalene

    3rd June 2010 at 11:17 am

    BTW do you mean Transition Town meeting?! If so where are you?

  4. Liz

    3rd June 2010 at 11:35 am

    Chocolate and prunes – yummy. Haven’t been to Bath for years – enjoy

  5. Sushma Mallya

    3rd June 2010 at 11:54 am

    It looks lovely & perfectly done..

  6. Chele

    3rd June 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Ooooooh – the colour of that cake looks so rich and naughty! Love it ;0)

  7. Janice

    3rd June 2010 at 7:45 pm

    choc and prunes is such a great combo, looks fab.

  8. Brownieville Girl

    3rd June 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Really looks lovely, and much more healthy than an ordinary chocolate cake. I love a cake that keeps well.

  9. Bridgett

    3rd June 2010 at 11:26 pm

    The cake looks so rich and delicious! I love it. Enjoy Bath!

  10. cityhippyfarmgirl

    4th June 2010 at 3:23 am

    Oh have fun at the the cooking school, that sounds great. Looking forward to reading a post about it! Hmm, middle eastern food…
    The cake looks delicious. Fruit and chocolate- it doesn’t get much better.

  11. Margaret

    4th June 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I love Bath – such a beautiful city.
    To make a substitute for buttermilk you could also use half natural yogurt and half semi-skimmed milk (tip courtesy of Nigella!). Works for me.
    Love the cake and recipe you have blogged.

  12. Joanna

    4th June 2010 at 10:55 pm

    CT could visit Special Plants just outside Bath. That cake sounds just wonderful, I love prunes enrobed in chocolate, so this sounds like one for me to try when the weather cools down a bit. Do you use french agen prunes or american ones? I like the french ones with their aniseedy almost taste.

  13. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    5th June 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Gorgeous combo of flavours, Choclette! Middle Eastern mezze – I hope you get to take some photos to share! 🙂

  14. Grazing Kate

    5th June 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Hiya – love this recipe – as you say, maybe not perfect hot weather cake, but damn fine all the same! Interested to hear you’re involved in Transition – I’ve just become involved in my local one – only two weeks ago – would be really interested to know what your involvement is and how far down the line your group is. I’m partic interested in the food side of things (Surprise!). I lived in Bath for about 6 years, got married there and had both my children there, so it holds a special place in my heart – I would recommend places to visit, but as I moved away 7 years ago, it’s probably out of date info! Would like to hear your info about Transition Towns – will chat later.

  15. The Caked Crusader

    6th June 2010 at 9:51 am

    Tempting cake – I’ve had prunes and spice in chocolate cakes but not together. Bet the flavours were incredible!

  16. Suzi

    6th June 2010 at 10:08 am

    This looks wonderful – as ever!

    I love the idea of using yoghurt instead of butter milk. I try to avoid cow’s milk where at all possible, but I’m yet to come across a sheep or goat’s buttermilk. Using yoghurt would mean I could eat it with no worries.

  17. oxslip

    7th June 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Oh lucky you, I’ve been trying to go on one of those courses but whenever I look they are all full. If you get time off I think there are walk-in cheapies at the Spa in the evening, so you can bob about in the pool on the roof and look at the view. Enjoy it.

  18. Choclette

    7th June 2010 at 7:34 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Choclette

    7th June 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks Lucie – Bath is indeed a beautiful city.

    Emmalene – I haven’t tried Nigella’s version – will have to put that on my ever growing list. Yes I did mean Transition Town – we’re in Liskeard, Cornwall. Are you a part of one too?

    Liz – Thank you, I did indeed enjoy – very much.

    Sushma – Thank you, you always say such lovely things.

    Chele – It may have looked rich, but it was actually quite light.

    Janice – This was my first adventure with prunes and chocolate – I’ll be using this combination again.

    BG – It always makes me feel better if I can kid myself it might be good for me!

    Bridgett – Thank you, I did enjoy Bath.

    CityHippy – Thank you, I did have fun and am trying to write up a post now. The course was really really good.

    Margaret – Thank you for the buttermilk tip. Bath is a lovely city and we really enjoyed our trip.

    Joanna – Thanks for the suggestion for CT, but we didn’t get it until we were back home. As for prunes, I have to admit, I have no idea as to the variety. I had a packed of prunes from somewhere in my cupboard and just opened them and used them. I take it, there is a difference in taste and quality – oh so much to learn.

    Celia – I do have some photos, but never ever enough – multi tasking is just not my thing!

    Kate – Good to hear from another Transitioner. Our group has been going for about two years or so and I’ve been on the core group for most of that time. That sounds very grand, but I don’t really do a lot as have little time. Think we probably need to meet, then I can give you some sourdough, talk about Transition and rave to you about how wonderful Bath is.

    CC – It was a really good cake – the prunes were actually quite subtle, but definitely added something.

    Suzi – I am now a huge fan of using yogurt in baking and don’t see why sheep or goat yogurt wouldn;t work as well. Can I ask what your role is viz Ivan Day – intriguing?

    Oxslip – We were there such a short time, we didn’t have the opportunity to sample the baths, but I’ve heard from others that it’s a great way to spend time. The course was so good, I now want to go back for another one – shall start saving now. We did book for this quite a long way in advance.

  20. MaryMoh

    8th June 2010 at 10:05 pm

    This cake must be very moist and delicious with added prunes. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Choclette

    9th June 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you MaryMoh

  22. Johanna GGG

    16th June 2010 at 6:07 am

    this looks great – I have tried that recipe once and it wasn’t what I expected so I was disappointed – neither enough chocolate taste nor prune taste but I think the spiciness was great

  23. Choclette

    16th June 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Johanna – I so understand what you mean – looking forward to something that just doesn’t turn out as good as you expected it to be – I seem to do this rather a lot. I was happy with this one though, although neither the chocolate nor the prunes really came through as distinctive flavours, they added an extra something that I thought made a great whole.


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