Prunes in chocolate are the easiest sweet snacks I know. They are also the quickest to prepare (and probably to eat). I wrote about them last year, but I thought they deserved one more chance, especially in the pre-Christmas period, where they fit perfectly as potential edible presents or even Christmas tree decorations. These dark brown, irregular pebbles might not look attractive at first, but most people I know get seduced by the soft tangy prune encased in a thin layer of crunchy dark chocolate. They often receive more “wows” and other appreciation sounds than an elaborate, time consuming cake.
The idea of coating prunes in chocolate is not mine. It is a simplified version of the prunes in chocolate I used to adore as a child. Now I find these candies too sweet and packed with all the cheap hydrogenated oils or whatever vilifies the taste of the chocolate. Prune coated in dark chocolate contains the most important elements of these childhood treats and has become my favourite chocolate snack.
The very easy preparation takes ten minutes and then only half an hour to set in the fridge. Apart from these obvious advantages, prunes in dark chocolate are the healthiest chocolate snacks I know. Thanks to the prunes they also improve digestion, the aspect one shouldn’t neglect during the holiday season. Last but not least, contrary to the last week’s Matcha Truffles, they support very well the room temperature and don’t need to be stored in the fridge.
Before I pass to the recipe, I would like to thank Claire from Promenade Plantings for using my Tartiflette recipe. She has transformed this cheese, bacon and potato gratin into a vegetarian dish, skipping the bacon. Nonetheless her version looks fantastic. Click here to see her vegetarian tartiflette.
A couple of weeks ago Shu Han from Mummy I can cook! has tagged me in a game called “bloggers unplugged”. The game consists in answering personal questions and inviting other bloggers to do the same. I have tried to make the answers as short as possible, hoping you will not fall asleep:
1. What, or who, inspired you to start a blog?
Of course other food blogs.
2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Of course my interest in food comes from the fact that my mum has always been an extraordinary, open-minded cook, never afraid of new recipes, techniques or spices. Her attitude has developped my curiosity, while the fact that her dishes were better than in any restaurant or at anyone’s house made me want to cook at home too. Apart from my mum, now there are several bloggers who constantly inspire me and motivate me to explore the infinite world of cooking.
3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?
Definitely Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji. I recommend it not only to Japanese cuisine enthusiasts.
4. Tell us about the best thing you have eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
Pierre Hermé’s macarons. His first macaron has literally put tears in my eyes. Every time I have them, I am spellbound. I have never suspected macarons can be so extraordinary and sophisticated.
5. Another food blogger’s table you’d like to eat at?
I couldn’t choose just one person. I would like to hop from one table to the other, to change countries and cultures every day. The list would be too long to put it here.
6. What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?
A huge freezer (or maybe a really huge second fridge with a huge freezer?).
7. Who taught you how to cook?
My mum of course, but afterwards I learnt from books, blogs and am still learning.
8. I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?
Strangely, I always get lots of compliments when I improvise, making dishes with leftovers and whatever I find in my kitchen (fried rice, pasta, noodles, tarts) without any precise recipe.
9. What is your guilty food pleasure?
There are many of these. Black pudding, foie gras, korokke, dark chocolates from my favourite chocolatier, bread from my favourite French baker…
10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
This is really difficult… I suppose that since I hardly ever talk about wine, this one might be a bit surprising: if I have to choose between an excellent bottle of wine or excellent food, I will always take the former. I know many wine bottles, not even excessively expensive, I would never exchange for any meal or food in the world.
I would love to hear confessions from the following bloggers (of course if they are willing to participate):
(Sorry if some of you have already played the unplugged game and I have forgotten.)
Now, if you are still awake, let’s go back to the recipe!
As I have already mentioned, chocolate and prunes are the only necessary items, but you can add some aromatic alcohol to your melting chocolate. Apricot brandy (Hungarian palinka is the best!) or rum are excellent.
gift bags, boxes, paper presentation cases, gift paper and threads to hang them on a tree, etc., depending on what you want to make with the prunes
Preparation: 10 minutes+ cooling time in the fridge
35-40 prunes (stoned)
100g (one bar) good dark chocolate
(50 ml apricot brandy, rum or any aromatic alcohol you like)
Melt the chocolate on low heat, in a small pan, stirring and not letting the chocolate boil.
(Add the alcohol at the end and stir well.)
Put the prunes into the chocolate and coat them in it, shaking the pan or moving them with a spoon.
Put them on the baking paper or a plate and put into the fridge until the chocolate coating becomes firm.
Take them out of the fridge and do whatever you have planned!