"I made prunes in Armagnac for René's birthday because he loves them and I didn't know what else to give him," says Levy Redzepi. "The alcohol and sugar turn it almost to jelly. I wanted to get this alcoholly kick in this rich pound cake base, and for fun added plums so there's even more fruit."
- 12 small plums, halved, or 8 large plums, cut into wedges
- 10 pitted prunes
- 120 ml Armagnac or brandy
- 220 gm softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 470 gm caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 fat juicy vanilla bean (my favourite is Tahitian vanilla bean), seeds scraped
- 3 eggs
- 300 gm double cream
- 350 gm plain flour
- 12 gm (3½ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
- To serve: fresh summer fruit
- 1Combine plums, prunes and Armagnac in a bowl and stand to soak for 2 hours.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy (4-5 minutes). Add vanilla seeds (keep the empty pod to use for another dessert), eggs and a big pinch of salt. Mix well, then add the cream and mix again. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the batter and mix slowly.
- 3Butter a 20cm x 30cm baking dish generously, then pour sugar onto the butter and tilt the dish from side to side until the sugar sticks to the butter all over. Tip out the excess. Carefully spread the batter evenly in the dish, trying not to disturb the sugar too much. Strain the fruit (save the alcohol for next time) and push the fruit down into the batter. Bake until golden and cooked through (25-35 minutes; stick a fork in the middle of the cake – it’s okay if the dough sticks a little bit). Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh summer fruit.