Plum, Prune and Chocolate Jam


First of all, I would like to apologize for my long silence and the absence of new posts during the past week. I went on an unexpected, last-minute trip to Japan and hardly had the time to pack my luggage correctly. Those of you who know for how long I had been dreaming about visiting this country will probably understand why I have completely lost my mind there and wasn’t able to follow my beloved blogs, not to mention posting. I hope you will all forgive me. Even though I did take some photos during this wonderful stay, I don’t have as many as I wanted (on the other hand isn’t our brain the best photo album in the world?) and certainly not enough to make a whole post about Japan. As soon as I find my camera battery charger, I will see if I can share with you at least a couple of the food-related ones. In the meantime I will be trying to catch up with all your posts I have missed and would like to share with you an unusual, wonderful preserve I discovered just before I left for Tokyo.

Even though it’s hard to believe, this unappetising jar contains a highly palatable jam. Plum and chocolate jam has been quite popular on internet several years ago and as a huge fan of both plum jam and chocolate I bookmarked this idea and then forgot about it. A couple of weeks ago I noticed this original version of Plum and Chocolate Jam by my inspiring friend Bea, who also lives in Switzerland and who I greatly admire for both culinary skills and extraordinary photographs. ย I made a small batch almost instantly and even though my jam looked much less appetising than hers, the result was stunningly good. Bea calls the jam “prunes in chocolate” and if you have ever had this sweet snack I personally go crazy for (see here my 10 minute recipe), you must test this recipe too.

The unusual mixture of sweet, sour and bitter flavours will not please every palate (my husband said he preferred the real Nutella ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but for tangy and dark chocolate dessert fans like me it is a real feast. I think this jam would be excellent on buttered toast, but also as a versatile cake, biscuit or cookie filling. Plums are invading market stalls now and I already now that apart from the Plum Butter I prepare every year, I will fill my pantry with another batch of this delicacy. I have slightly modified Bea’s recipe, adding more rum and skipping the spices (ginger, cinnamon and cloves), so feel free to add them for a more complex flavour. Thank you so much, Bea, for this extraordinary recipe.

If this Plum and Chocolate Jam doesn’t sound inspiring, you might like the Damson Plum Butter, the extraordinary, rich taste of which has got nothing to do with standard plum jam:

And if you look for a quick and delicious (and rather healthy) sweet snack, try the ridiculously simple Prunes in Chocolate:


TIP: The best plums to use here are long, dark violet (purple) or dark blue plums, of damson variety or similar. They should have aromatic, dark skin and dark yellow flesh.

Preparation: 2 days

Ingredients (yield: about 4 x 200 ml/7 oz jars):

20 prunes (without stones)

50 ml (about 1,7 oz) rum + 50 ml hot water

2 kg (about 4,4 pounds) long, violet/purple/dark blue plums

50 g (about 1,8 oz) good bitter chocolate

5 heaped tablespoons cocoa

sugar (at least 600 grams; the amount depends on your preferences and the plums’ sweetness)

(50 ml/about 1,7 oz rum)

Cut up the prunes into pieces and soak in rum and hot water overnight.

The following day ย wash the plums, stone them and put in a big pan. Add the prunes and their soaking water.

Add some water (about 10% of the fruitsโ€™ initial weight), so that they donโ€™t stick to the bottom until they start releasing their juice.

Put the pan on a low heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. First you can stir every 30 minutes, but when the mixture thickens, you should lower the heat to the absolute minimum and stir it every ten minutes. The thicker the mixture, ย the more often you should stir it.

If the pan burns, quickly transfer the unfinished butter to another pan (otherwise it will โ€œtakeโ€ the burnt flavour).

After about two or three hours add the minimal amount of sugar.

Simmer the jam for about 30 minutes and add more sugar if needed (and simmer for 30 more minutes, constantly stirring).

30 minutes before the end add the cocoa and the chocolate and let the mixture simmer, constantly stirring. Add more rum if you want (I thought rum was a perfect flavour enhancer here).

If you want, you can quickly mix the jam in a food processor, so that it has a smooth, spread-like consistency. (I did it).

/At this point you can either freeze it (after the jam has cooled down) or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year./

Pour the jam, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.

Place the cool jars in a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot โ€“ but not boiling โ€“ water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the jam and donโ€™t forget to mark the date.




55 Replies to “Plum, Prune and Chocolate Jam”

  1. Sissi, this sounds delicious and will be a true labor of love to make. When I had my candy store, I always carried dark chocolate covered prunes…they were so good. Welcome back…you must have had an absolutely wonderful time on your trip.

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. I remember when you told me about the dark chocolate covered prunes when I posted the recipe. It’s such a pleasure to know you are a fan of this combination too.

  2. I was wondering where you went Sissi! So glad to hear you got to see Japan, how lucky! Can’t wait to see your posting about the food adventure there, hopefully you got to see and eat a lot, I am so envious!

    I know I would be visiting their Ramen Noodle shops a lot when we finally get to visit. Yum!

    The plum and chocolate jam looks wonderful, I can imagine the interesting flavor, but can’t actually taste it without breaking out all over my face. I was just talking to a lady recently about my “allergies” to lots of yummy food, dairy, nuts, chocolate, I know she felt pretty sorry for me, hahah…

    Have a good weekend and welcome back!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I loved Japan (or rather Tokyo because I only went to Tokyo this time). I will not be able to make a wonderful, fascinating post about my trip the way some bloggers do (I think here about Nami’s excellent trip posts), but I will hopefully post some photos.
      I am so sorry you are allergic to chocolate. Does a temporary allergy block exist? If not it should! Then you would take it just before the chocolate and you would enjoy it without any problems. Have a lovely weekend too!

  3. I had to smile when I read “I went on an unexpected, last-minute trip to Japan…” That’s not something you hear everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like you enjoyed your trip and was so busy enjoying it that you didn’t bring out the camera much! That’s a GOOD sign in my book! Living with a professional photographer that ALWAYS has his camera out, sometimes I have to say “Just put down the camera and take in the view!” ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to some of the pictures you did take! Both of these sweets look delicious in my book, but anything with chocolate – bring it on! I do love the idea of chocolate plum jam and might just have to give that try. That definitely sounds good to me. Now go get some rest!

    1. Haha! It’s true even though it sounds incredible. I am glad you understand my problem: some wonderful moments were so great I simply forgot to take photos… It’s not something I do automatically, so when I’m completely flabbergasted, I just don’t take the camera out.
      I’m glad you like the idea of this jam. I find it very unusual but really good (as long as one likes the combination of chocolate and tangy fruit).

  4. You went to Japan…WOW! Visiting Japan is something I’ve long been wanting to do. I’m so jealous of you! I’m sure you had so much fun and I totally understand why you didn’t find the time to blog. Can’t wait to see photos from your trip!
    Btw, your plum and chocolate jam looks wonderful. Hope I could try it!

  5. Wow, Sissi, Japan!! How exciting for you and PULEEZE no need to apologize for dumping the blogging thing during your travels… I would be disappointed for you if you had done otherwise! I do hope that you share some photos and commentary about your trip at some point though; I’m very happy for you that you were able to make this happen and look forward to hearing more…

    I’m a big fan of the combination of fruit and chocolate and you know how often we’ve made and love your prunes in chocolate :). I have no doubt that this jam is scrumptious (contrary to your words, I don’t find it hard to believe in the least ;-)).

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I am really happy you like prunes in chocolate and this jam idea too. Thank you for the kind words. I haven’t been on long holidays for such a long time, I have forgotten that I should organise myself better. I will do my best to post some photos. I hope you will not be disappointed (as I have just told MJ, whenever I was in awe of something, I would just live the moment and forget about the camera, unless reminded by someone…).

  6. That is an interesting combination of flavors — plum and chocolate. I’m sure it’s rich and flavorful. Must be fun vacation you had in Japan. I can’t wait for you to post some of the beautiful pictures of your trip and hopefully you’re in the shot, hmmm? Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks a lot, Ray. I will post some pictures, though I cannot promise they will be beautiful. As for me in the shot… I am not sure yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a lovely weekend.

  7. A ‘last minute trip to Japan’!

    How lucky for you and I totally understand your lack of time to keep up with your blog while touring that amazing country. I imagine you would have liked to do some advance planning of all the places you’d like to see but the opportunity to see the place at all was amazing for you.

    Plum and chocolate. I don’t know if I’d like the combination but it would be interesting to try.

    1. It was partly a business trip, hence the last-minute. I was touring actually only Tokyo but even in one week I haven’t made half the things i wanted in this huge city… I love plums and chocolate (especially prunes and chocolate), they remind me my favourite childhood sweet snacks…

  8. Oh wow, how wonderful! I’d known you wanted to go there for so long… I know how much enthusiasm you seem to have for the country so it’s wonderful you could finally get to go! It would be wonderful if you could post some photos from the trip – we’d love to see them I’m sure!

    I can’t believe this jam has chocolate in it – how awesome is that? It sounds absolutely wonderful… I can imagine the rich flavours of the delicious fruit with the subtle chocolatey-ness. Does it change the texture at all? Like, make it more solid or something?

    1. Hi Charles. The organisation wasn’t what I imagined (I was supposed to go somewhere else and then this last minute partially business trip was announced…), but improvised trip to Japan has its charm too. I will post some photos certainly, but unfortunately I’m not a natural born photographer: during some magic moments I simply forgot to take out the camera…
      I knew you would notice the strange factor here too! I was worried it would become solid (I also worried it wouldn’t preserve well, but from what I read on internet other bloggers keep it as long as normal jams…), but it’s not. I have just tasted some remains from the fridge that I couldn’t fit into jars and the taste is really incredible and unusual. You should really try it.

    1. Thank you so much, Martyna. It is a very unusual preserve, but as a prune and chocolate lover you would love it too I’m sure.

  9. Oh joy!!!! I’m so happy for you! You’ve finally visited your home country ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can’t wait to see your pics and hear of your adventures.
    Not a great fan of prunes (plums, yes) but this certainly sounds appetizing. And believe me when I say it doesn’t look bad at all. You should have seen the banana/chocolate jam I’d made. I didn’t even know how to shoot it to make it look halfway presentable! LOL!

    1. Ping, you do know me well, don’t you? Thank you so much for kind words. Frankly, I must tell you I felt at home in Japan (apart from the fact that with my one month break from a couple of months of Japanese classes I struggled to communicate and I felt as a half-illiterate with my knowledge of only katakana and hiragana). I loved the food, the people, the security, the lack of violence in human relations, the organisation, the joy and dynamics that one feels at every minute of the day and night.
      Thank you for the compliment! I have heard someone already talking about the aesthetic problems with banana and chocolate jam ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually this recipe is originally only with plums and chocolate. My friend Bea has changed it adding prunes which I love, so I decided to test her version.

  10. Sissi you are into plums too! I remember your prunes with the chocolate… This jam sounds almost to good to be true. I am looking forward to your posts about your trip Sissi. Don’t let us down. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Sissi, you convinced me. I still have some plums in the fridge left to play with. And of course I always have the prunes. And the cocoa and the chocolate. I will add it to the list of plum things I am making this year. I also have a cake to do and one more meat dish. I am in love with plums. And the interesting thing is I don’t eat them fresh except when they are slightly unripe…

        1. Zsuzsa, I hope you will not be disappointed… This is quite unusual in taste (I mean the combination of bitter chocolate and tangy plums). On the other hand, it can be used to spread between the layers of a cake if you find the taste too strange to have it just on bread.
          I rarely eat raw plums. They are at their best cooked or baked or transformed in any other way.

          1. Sissi you never disapoint but you always worry about it. Rest easy my friend, one of the things that attract me to your recepies is their unusual quality. I don’t think I have made as many recipes from a foddie friend’s blogposts as from your site. I should have just kept quiet and surprised you. Oh well. You will see.

            1. Thank you, Zsuzsa, for kind words. I am extremely flattered by what you say! Even though one day will probably be this first day when our palates disagree, I’m already proud you have enjoyed so many of my recipes.

  11. I just cannot wait for your Japan trip post(s)…I’m hoping it’s plural and I’ll be waiting~~!

    Plum and prune and chocolate? Wow that sounds so good. How come I’ve never tried something like that? For a second I got confused with L and R of plum and prune – prum and plune… hate L and R!! You have both in this jar LOL.

    Catch up on sleep and hope your legs heal faster… LOL. Put pillow under your feet! Will respond to your email soon…

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I know what you mean about L and R. My friend has problems with it too. On the other hand I have problems with pronouncing some Japanese words with a sound between L and R or H and F…
      I will post some photos of course, but I cannot promise such exciting trip posts like yours! My feet are better, thank you (I finally see my veins on feet ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Actually I always sleep with my feet slightly higher than my head, but apparently this didn’t work for the first night. I needed 48 hours to see my real feet.

  12. I like to make things with plums in the fall, so of course your timing is perfect Sissi. However, I’ve never made anything with plum and chocolate — although I can see that it would be a lovely combination.

    I hope that you enjoyed the break from blogging — as you know I’m a big advocate for stepping away and clearing the mind. Can’t wait to hear more about your Japanese adventure! Welcome back!

    1. Thank you so much, Barb. I have enjoyed this break so much (but not because I stopped blogging! I just needed holidays, especially mentally because physically I have tortured myself a lot, especially my feet…).

  13. Hi Sissi, I’m so thrilled for you that you got to visit Japan, and have so much to blog about. Would love to see some awesome photos of yours.
    In the meantime…rest assured, inspite of your hubby preferring Nutella to your plum-chocolate jam…I choose the latter. Love plums in jam, and never in my wildest dreams would I think to pair it with chocolate, to make a delicious jam:)

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth. My husband doesn’t like tangy desserts (unlike me!), so I devour on my own anything made with plums (at least this type of plums).

  14. Thank you for letting me know of your recent trip to Tokyo in my blog. I later noticed that you described your trip here in your blog. Like many of your followers here, I’d like to know some more details of your trip!

    1. Hi, Hiroyuki. I hope you will not be disappointed. I have made very few photos, though lots of precious memories stay in my head…

  15. Hello Sissi, don’t apologies for being missing in action:) Very glad to hear that you visited Japan. I know you always planned to and glad it happened this year. Last minute unplanned holidays are great, it doesn’t have the stress of planning trips. I hope you got the opportunity to share and teach your Japanese culinary skills to the locals:)
    The recipe looks intriguing. I can imagine those ingredients would be great in a cake or brownie, never thought jam could be made from it. But then I read about a crazy woman making banana chocolate jam so I guess anything is possible.
    I do wonder what value 50g of bitter chocolate adds when there is whole bunch of cocoa in the recipe. Plus there is water in the recipe, which is not friends with chocolate. I guess I need to try rather than imagine.
    Anyway looking forward to your Japanese dedicated post with LOTS and LOTS of photos.

    1. Hi, Mr. Three-Cookies. Yes, finally my dream has come true, but I still feel “hungry” for future trips to Japan (not only for the food I haven’t managed to taste!). I don’t have many photos alas… and even less to share, but I will post some certainly!
      I have actually already heard about banana and chocolate jam, so it doesn’t surprise me.
      To tell you the truth I thought exactly like you: I have put first only cocoa wondering what the chocolate might add. Then the result was very harsh and I decided to add the chocolate. It has become mellow and delicious. I suppose that fat is the answer!

  16. We’re back from our two-plus weeks in Europe and it was great. Although its always nice to sleep in one’s own bed. I can certainly understand why you were unavailable to meet Sissi and although I am sorry, I am glad you were able to have such an incredible opportunity. We did meet up with Charles and he is as every bit as lovely in real life as he is in our cyber world! He entertained us at a delicious Korean BBQ which I will write about soon.
    I adore prunes and these to recipes look like they are my taste…now to find the time to make them!

    1. Welcome back, Eva! Actually, at first I was supposed to go to… Canada, but the trip was cancelled and suddenly the Japan opportunity appeared! I couldn’t miss it, but I do regret not meeting you. Maybe one day if I go to Canada ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m jealous that you have met Charles. He lives so close and yet I have never managed to meet him. I should go to Paris more often ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you. I made a couple of jars just before leaving (I think one day before) but I plan to make more of them next weekend.

  17. How wonderful you got to travel to Japan! Welcome home! I’ve never heard nor tried this flavor combination…but I bet it’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing, Sissi!

  18. Hard to resist Nutella, but this is even better! Great you had a good time in Tokyo, please tell us more about it. I would like to visit Tokyo too but I am still struggeling with ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชž and the dentist took all of my ้‡‘.

    1. Thank you, Kiki. Frankly, before my husband talked about Nutella, I haven’t thought of comparing both! I am impressed by your knowledge of kanji! I am still struggling with hiragana and katakana… and this trip has motivated me to study more and more intensely.

  19. You lucky girl!! I am dreaming of going to japan since ever. I can imagine that u were all busy with this trip, I would be off as well to have the time of my life.

    I love tangy jams and thats the first time I hear of a chocolate prune, plum jam. What I like about your recipe is that it sounds fairly simple. I thought it might be complicated, since chocolate is included.

  20. You are more than forgiven sissi! WHen on holiday, it’s totally your right to havefun and go wild! Can’t wait to see your photos from japan xx

    Also, jam sounds wonderful, nv thought of putting chocolate in a jam!

  21. Hi there!
    This is my first visit to your blog and I am really excited that I found it! I was looking for a recipe for a “chocolate jam” and my did I get lucky stumbling upon your lovely recipe! Prunes and Chocolate is a lovely combination of flavours!! I used to eat prunes in chocolate all the time when I was little ๐Ÿ™‚ It was something like our family healthy sweet treat! …
    Oh Japan!! I would like to visit Japan – any part really – even for a few hours this country always fascinated me.

    1. Hi, Maria. Thank you so much for such a kind message and the compliments. I am glad to meet another fan of Prunes in Chocolate (have you ever made them on your own? I prepare them all the time, they are my favourite sweet snacks, relatively healthy too).
      I hope you can visit Japan one day. Thank you for commenting on my blog!

      1. HI Sissi, thank you also for stopping by my blog!!! I used to help my grandmother to make chocolate prunes when I was little….it was more like Maria’s little fingers dipped in chocolate than prunes dipped in chocolate ha, ha fun memories!!! I think now that you reminded me of how good they tasted I will give them a try with your recipe!!!

        1. Maria, good luck! It was so easy to make these, the first time I prepared them I couldn’t believe something so simple could be so delicious.

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