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Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven

A delicious and rich chocolate cake – gluten free and gorgeously moist – from the woodfired oven, cooked in the falling heat. It’s not just high heat and pizzas as we know! The cake is made with ground almonds rather than flour so it’s gluten free -perfect for your coeliac friends ot those with a gluten intolerance. Happy days!

Do check out how David cooked in on our Woodfired Workshop here and the recipe is below. Hope you can make it – do let us know how you get on; it’s really worth trying!

Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven


Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven

140g pitted prunes

4tbsp apple juice

100g butter

140g dark chocolate

100g caster sugar

50g light Muscavado sugar

4 eggs, 2 of them separated

1tsp vanilla extract

100g ground almonds

15g cocoa plus extra for dusting the cooked cake

150g fresh raspberries for garnish

Oven State

5 Mississippi and falling – so no flames, embers etc, just retained heat and around 200C. If you have a non-refractory oven or one with little insulation, keep a small bed of embers and the door ajar so any fumes can escape.

A 20cm loose bottomed cake tin – lined with baking parchment, brushed with a little extra melted butter

Door shut


  • Soak the prunes in the apple juice, ideally overnight, and then whizz them together to make a thick purée.Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven
  • Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a small pan in the oven door. Don’t let them get too hot otherwise the chocolate will become granular and be difficult to work with.
  • Whisk together until super thick and creamy the 2 eggs, the 2 egg yolks, the caster sugar and the Muscavado sugar. Much easier to do this in a stand mixer rather than by hand.
  • Add the vanilla extract, cocoa and ground almonds.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage and fold them into the chocolate mixture.
  • Turn the cake mixture into the prepared tin and put it in the oven with the door shut for 20-25 minutes.Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven
  • Bring the cake out of the oven when the top is firm but there is a slight wobble to the cake underneath. Let the cake cool in the tin before turning on to a serving plate.
  • Dust the cake with extra cocoa (through a sieve in case of lumps) and decorate with fresh raspberries. Serve with cream and enjoy!Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven


  • Instead of apple juice for soaking the prunes you could use some alcohol such as brandy or PX sherry or Marsala; or keep it non-boozy with red grape juice.
  • Use ground hazelnuts instead of ground almonds
  • Use some icing sugar to garnish the cake as well as the cocoa.
  • Instead of the prune purée, you could use dates or stewed apples
  • The cake freezes really well so you can make it in advance or when you have some falling heat in the oven to use up and then take it out when you are having a supper with friends.
  • If you are cooking in a regular oven, cook the cake at 190C.

Wine Suggestion

  • How about a PX sherry – dark, rich and raisiny
  • Maybe a chilled sweet wine like a Sauternes
  • A glass of ruby port would be delicious
  • An armagnac is excellent with the earthy sweetness of the prunes
  • Or a glass of fizz – Champagne or Crémant with some brioche flavours
  • If you are using Marsala in the cake, maybe a glass of that to go with it?
  • So much choice; thanks to Suzie from Michael Sutton’s Cellar for the inspiration!

Rich Chocolate, Prune & Almond Cake from the Woodfired Oven