tThe French have always been wise about the pleasures of plums but in Britain we seem to overlook them. Growing up, my mother would work with plum wonders again, gently climbing them for her many wonderful concoctions. Cut to the French Stock Exchange in Paris when I had a plum and Armagnac ice cream alongside a scoop of dark chocolate, from a shop on the Île Saint Louis. The flavors are still etched in my memory, and it inspired this delicious dessert.
Peach and Armagnac lie with chocolate rosemary bark
Boiled prunes are also delicious with Greek yogurt for a healthy start to your day.
to equip 20 minutes
cook 15 minutes
Cold 3 hours +
chocolate bark rosemary
200 grams of dark chocolate
Grated 1 unwaxed orange
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
A large pinch of sea salt
50 grams of coconut flakes
300 grams of soft plum (Ajin is the best)
Orange juice and zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp Armagnac
180 ml Earl is an English title Gray tea (from one tea bag)
To prepare the whipped cream
300 ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugarSieve (I love golden)
Half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon of brandy
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. You will need six pretty cups for desserts. For the bark, break the chocolate into pieces, place in a heatproof bowl and microwave in short bursts, stirring between them, or with a quarter-full of gently boiling water. Heat the chocolate until almost all melts, then remove the pot from the heat and stir in the orange peel, rosemary, and salt until all of the chocolate is melted.
Pour it onto a lined tray and use a spoon to spread it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle over the coconut flakes, gently push them into the chocolate, then allow to cool to room temperature (if you put them in the fridge, the chocolate will bloom). Once the chocolate has set, break it into shards, and store in an airtight cookie tin between layers of greaseproof paper.
To make the sod, put the plums, orange juice, and everything but a little zest, vanilla, armagnac, and tea into a medium saucepan. Simmer, covered, for six to eight minutes, until plums are completely soft. Once cool to the touch, freeze the plums and transfer them to a food processor along with a few tablespoons of the chard juices. Mix and pour in the rest of the juices as you do, until you get a smooth, rich puree. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator for three to four hours.
To assemble the pudding, whisk the cream and powdered sugar together into soft, velvety peaks, then add the vanilla and brandy. If you whip the cream too much and it becomes too stiff, just fold in more cold cream until it’s smooth again. Top six small glasses with the plum puree and Armagnac, followed by the cream. Top with chocolate bark and a little orange peel, and serve.
Use a vegan cream to make the creamy topping, or a vanilla-scented cashew nut cream made with soaked and spiced cashews.