Prune, Chocolate and Armagnac Tipsy Cake


  • 250 g (½ lb) unsalted butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 275 g (9 oz) self-raising flour
  • 25 g (1 oz) cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 200 g (7 oz) stoned prunes, finely chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 75 mls (3 oz) Armagnac or chocolate liqueur
  • milk


Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa together. Beat the eggs and flour alternately into the creamed mixture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except for half the spirit, and adding enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency to the mixture. Grease and line a loaf tin, and spoon in the mixture. Smooth the top, and bake for 2 hours in a preheated oven at 150½C/300½F/gas mark 2.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Pour the remaining spirit over the cake, having poked holes in it with a skewer. Cover the cake with foil, and allow to stand in a cool place until the spirit is absorbed. Then wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and foil. It will keep for several weeks, and if possible should be kept for at least three days before broaching, in order for the flavours to blend and develop.