Flourless Chocolate & Prune Cake

December 14th, 2023


Today I am sharing my last recipes for 2023. The chocolate prune cake below, and the zucchini pickle (find the recipe here) are both featured in my 2024 recipe calendar*. When I asked on social media which recipe from the calendar you would like me to share these recipes came in equal (when counted across both Instagram and Facebook). So I am sharing both to be enjoyed by all. *I am down to the last 20 or so 2024 calendars so get in quick if you would like a copy.

The calendar sales largely help cover the costs and my time in keeping this website online. The recipes I share here are freely available for all and I don’t have any advertising or sponsored content. I would love to keep it this way with your support so Homegrown Kitchen is a quiet place online to visit and be inspired with new recipes to enjoy.

On that note, and as I sign off for the year, please know I am grateful for your continued support of my small business. Next year I am heading into my 20th year as a food writer and culinary tutor. That is a long time, and a lot has changed over the years, particularly in this online world. I have managed to shape a place for myself here, operating a little differently from some, which has allowed me to stay true to my values. So thank you, whether that is championing my cookbooks, attending a cooking workshop, and/or cooking and sharing my recipes with others. Every little bit helps and means I can continue to create recipes to share with you all.

I am going to sign off for the year with this fabulous flourless chocolate cake. I am planning to make this for our festive table accompanied by bowls of fresh berries and a luscious vanilla cream. I know it is not a traditional dessert, but it is the prunes and spice that whisper Christmas to me. I have also included a round-up of recipe links below for more festive and summertime recipes I have shared over the years. 

Wishing you all a safe and delicious holiday season. See you in 2024! Nicola

Christmas Giving – Books, Bread Bannetons and Calendars.

I have a limited number of signed copies of my latest cookbook, The Homemade Table, plus lined bread bannetons available on my website. If you are interested in receiving gifts in time for Christmas the cut-off for the courier is Wednesday 20th December, OR Monday 18th for rural addresses and large packages. Calendars that are sent via NZ Post also need to be ordered by Monday 18th December. Follow the links to order:

More Festive Table Recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

Flourless Chocolate & Prune Cake

This cake has an almost mousse-like texture from the aerated egg whites. The key is the addition of the sugar to the egg whites to make a meringue so the air isn’t so easily knocked out when combined with the heavier chocolate mixture. Of course, some air loss is inevitable but this is less than when using whisked egg whites alone. Be careful not to overcook the cake, and veer on slightly undercooked - see directions in the recipe - to prevent the outside drying out and to result in a decadent soft centre. 
Servings 12
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes


  • 1 cup (160g) prunes, thinly sliced
  • cup (80ml) water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g butter, cut into cubes
  • 250 g quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Vanilla Cream

  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • fresh cherries to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan 150ºC). Line the base of a 20cm cake tin, grease and dust the sides with cocoa powder.
  • First, soften the prunes. Place the prunes, water, cinnamon and salt into a saucepan. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until the prunes have softened and thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Place the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water - make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir until melted. Remove from the heat, stir through the prune mixture and set aside to cool a little while preparing the meringue.
  • Place the egg whites into a stand mixer, or use a large bowl and handheld beater. Whisk on a medium speed until soft peaks, form then continue to whisk while adding the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until thick and glossy. Remove the bowl from the mixer if using.
  • Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, stirring well to combine. Mix a third of the chocolate mixture at a time into the meringue using a large metal spoon to gently fold together. Once there is no white meringue visible in the mixture, carefully scoop into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen with a small wobble in the centre of the cake. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. The cake will deflate a little as it cools but this just adds to the character.
  • The cake can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 days and then brought to room temperature for serving.
  • When ready to serve, make the Vanilla Cream. Pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until softly whipped. Add the yoghurt, maple syrup and vanilla then whisk until smooth. Dust the cake with cocoa, cut into wedges and serve with fresh cherries and Vanilla Cream.

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