Chocolate orange surprise cakes

Whether making or eating, I can generally take or leave desserts.
But if I feel a meal (or the company) calls for one, individual cakes are good bet.
Baked in ramekins, they encourage small portions appropriate for dessert, bake quickly while you’re lingering over wine after the main course and allow for nearly endless variations.
I made these cakes last week. I found a recipe on Two Spoons, which was in turn inspired by a recipe in Julia Le Clerc’s Made By Hand. Don’t you just love the way recipes travel and evolve? I followed this one pretty closely.
I changed the title and asked my husband to name the surprise ingredient. He guessed dried cherries, which was pretty close. The prunes, dark chocolate and cocoa make these cakes intense and rich — without the addition of butter or oil.

Chocolate orange surprise cakes

Chocolate orange surprise cakes — with the surprise ingredient.

Ingredients
50 g pitted prunes, finely chopped
125 mL (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice and water (use freshly squeezed juice of one orange
50 g dark eating chocolate (70 per cent cocoa)
30 mL (2 tbsp) cold water
1 large egg
60 mL (1/4 cup) brown sugar
zest of 1 orange
pinch sea salt
30 mL (2 tbsp) cocoa
60 mL (1/4 cup) flour
2 mL (1/2 tsp) baking soda

Method
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Heat prunes and orange juice/water mix on medium heat to soften the prunes and reduce the liquid until thickened.
Beat the egg and sugar on high until pale and frothy.
Remove prunes from heat. Stir in chocolate and cold water.
Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Add orange zest.
Sift in dry ingredients and fold until just incorporated.
Divide between 4 125-mL (1/2-cup) ramekins.
Bake about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

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