This torte is wonderfully dark and very moist and the prunes soaked in Armagnac or rum make it a very grown-up dessert. Use strong black tea in place of Armagnac if you prefer a non-alcoholic version. The original recipe calls for 175 g butter and 175 sugar, but the addition of prunes allows for a nearly 50% reduction in both.
Yield: 8-12 servings
6 tablespoons 90 ml Armagnac or rum
175 g bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (70% cacao)
90 g scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
90 g 6 tablespoons salted butter
6 large eggs, separated
175 g / 1 1/2 cups ground almonds or almond flour
Crème fraîche, for serving
In a small saucepan, combine the dried plums with Armagnac and bring to a simmer. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat puree with a hand-held blender; let cool.
Preheat oven to 325F [170C]. Butter a 9-in. [23-cm] non-stick springform [loose-bottomed] cake pan and line the base with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in a bain marie; let cool.
Place half of the sugar and butter into a large bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Beat in egg yolks followed by the melted chocolate and prune puree.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, then whisk in the remaining sugar until a stiff meringue forms. Gently fold in ground almonds, followed by the chocolate mixture in two batches. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. To serve, cut into slices and arrange on plates with crème fraîche.