First, this recipe will help you learn how to properly melt chocolate and, second, it proves that more is not necessarily better when it comes to dessert.
Yes, it is as simple as stirring together toasted almonds, prunes, and chocolate then dropping them by the spoonful into clusters. So, if you remember how to make those dribble sandcastles from hanging at the beach as a kid, you can make this recipe. Oh, and did we mention they’re topped with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and coarse sugar for a sweet-salty mix?
Hang around here long enough and you'll notice all our recipes are whole foods and healthy-ish. Meaning that even when we make something like a sweet treat we still opt for real ingredients that bring real nutrition.
This recipe was crafted as part of a partnership with California Prunes. They challenged us to share how to use prunes for a healthy swap and we immediately went to dessert! We like to have something with chocolate on the daily and whenever we can double down and not only tame our sweet tooth but also get real nutrition, we're all about it.
You know that prunes are dried plums but you may not know that most California prunes hail from the Petit d’Agen plum that was brought to California from France during the Gold Rush. Fast forward and today California grows 99% of the U.S production of prunes and 40% of the worldwide production! We like to use the D'Noir Prunes in recipes because they're preservative-free and they tend to be really plump and flavorful.
Prunes aren't just tasty but are also nutritional powerhouses as they don't have fat or cholesterol but do have vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. A serving of just four prunes has 11% of your recommended daily fiber, 6% of potassium, 20% of vitamin K so they're a great addition to a healthy immune system. TLDR: prunes contribute to bone health, bring tons of antioxidants, and support digestive health.
If you've had chocolate-covered dried fruit of any kind then you know it's a delicious combo. While we often opt for dark chocolate-covered dried fruit, this recipe uses a mix of both milk and dark chocolate for a balance of rich and intense flavor.
But this recipe is a case of less is more in that simply mixing toasted almonds into chocolate coated prunes and topping it with flaky salt is perfection!
You could make this recipe fancy as heck and mix in as many or as few things as you’d like. Maybe a mix of nuts, additional dried fruit, or even add in a pinch of spice (say, cinnamon, cayenne, or cardamom). But trust us when we say it’s pretty perfect as is.
Heads up that we made this recipe during our Cooking Club Chocolate Workshop. So, if you want to see it made step by step -- and get a glimpse of the menu we'd pair this with -- go ahead and check out the recording of the workshop.
Want to cook this recipe at a later date? Pin it to your Pinterest account so you can access it when you need some cooking inspiration!
sliced into thin strips
Toast The Nuts: Turn the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the middle. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet then toast them until they’re fragrant and just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool until they’re cool enough to handle.
You can toast the almonds up to two days ahead of time. Cool then store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Melt The Chocolate: Before you melt the chocolate, line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment, or a baking mat and set it aside.
Set up a bain marie by placing an inch or two of water in a small saucepan and heat it to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl (stainless steel or glass work well) over the water and add the chocolate and stir until it’s evenly melted.
Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water in the pan below or it might scorch or splatter water into your bowl and possibly seize the chocolate.
Make The Clusters: Once the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat and add the nuts and prunes. Stir to make sure all the ingredients are evenly coated in the chocolate. Using a soup spoon, drop the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1-inch apart. (You should have about 15 clusters.)
Top each cluster with each a pinch of salt and sugar then place in the refrigerator until they’re set up. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
The clusters will last up to two weeks when stored refrigerated in an airtight container.
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