Sweet sweet Friday: Chocolate & Prune Bars

You know how it is when you’re first really lovestruck with someone or something – a boy, a girl, a baby, a handbag – and you can’t stop gazing at them? That’s how I feel about these bars. It’s taken me ages to choose a photo of them for this post because they look so good from so many angles. It’s ridiculous – not only is my computer jammed with 40 million photos of the Small Girl, but now I have hundreds of pictures of cakes. In fact, I probably have more photos of food than I do of my beloved. Is this a bad thing?

Chocolate Prune Bars
I’ve been making variations of this for years, ever since I copied it down from a North & South magazine column by Michael Lee-Richards. I was a bored personal assistant to a public servant and surreptitious recipe retrieval was one of the things that kept me going. This is my current favourite incarnation.

100g butter, melted
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tin condensed milk
handfuls of roughly chopped dark chocolate, prunes, dates, walnuts – you can vary these to suit your tastes but extensive research on my part over the years has found that it’s best to have a 2:1 ratio of fruit to nuts. Introduce chocolate to the mix and you can get away with a 1:1:1 ratio. Am I blinding you with science?

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a slice tin with baking paper. Mix the butter, sugar, flour, coconut and baking powder together and press into the tin. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter the chocolate, prunes and nuts on top. Drizzle the condensed milk over the top, then return the tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and eating – you don’t want burned lips the weekend before Valentine’s Day, do you?



  1. February 10, 2011 / 6:16 pm

    Ha ha – no, I don't, thank you. These look like they might be worth burnt lips, though.
    And, don't worry, I think it is normal to have more food photographs than kiddy ones. That's what I am telling myself anyway. We can stick together on this one.

  2. February 10, 2011 / 6:23 pm

    I too am sure that it is ok to have more pics of food than loved ones on the laptop. Occupational hazard of the job … as are burnt lips ;0)

  3. February 10, 2011 / 7:57 pm

    OMG anything with condensed milk has to be good! I love prunes, so I htin these are a definite yes.

  4. February 10, 2011 / 8:07 pm

    I have many, many times as many food photos as people photos… You are not alone! This does look pretty tasty – my kind of way of getting my fruit in. 😉

  5. February 10, 2011 / 9:04 pm

    me too… I have more photos of food than anything else on my laptop. I don't think it's a bad thing.
    The prune bars look fantastic.

  6. February 11, 2011 / 12:31 am

    and why wouldn't you? look at them for gods sake!!!!… my iphoto folder is just food and my dog… The Viking rarely gets a look-in!

  7. February 11, 2011 / 12:35 am

    You lot make me laugh – I can't decide if there is safety in numbers or if we are all a bit mad!

  8. February 11, 2011 / 5:17 am

    I love prune filling in just about every dessert, especially prune danishes, but your prune bars look and sound even more delicious than the danish that I like so much.
    Love the photos of it too, really a wonderful recipe.
    Thanks for sharing, Lucy…and have a beautiful weekend!

  9. February 11, 2011 / 9:26 am

    Now that sounds yummy: prune and chocolate. LOVE the combo. Photos? Hm. Yes, has to be said. Guilty. Tons more foodie shots than hubby & family. Scary really. But look at these shots of your choc-prune-bars? Are they not just gorgeous? Love the view above one!

  10. February 11, 2011 / 11:22 am

    No linky 🙁 I just wrote a sweet friday post and everything! Even involved condensed milk and chocolate too.

    I love the idea of prunes and chocolate and I love the sound of a recipe that has been perfected over time – thanks!

  11. February 12, 2011 / 9:22 am

    Oooh these look a bit familiar Lucy! That gorgeous slice you left with me? Scrummy!

  12. February 12, 2011 / 11:12 am

    You should have published all the photo's Lucy I usually do….. it's difficult to decide sometimes. I don't blame you because they look really luscious…what a great combination of ingredients…..

  13. February 13, 2011 / 2:19 am

    Yes, I am another sucker for condensed milk, love it waaaay to much! These look yummy too, your blog is evil Lucy – too many yummy things for me to be tempted to make!
    You know you take too many photos of food when your big kid says at dinner time "have you taken a photo of dinner yet, mummy?"

  14. February 15, 2011 / 10:09 pm

    ooo these look very yummy, not two ingredients i would think to put together, but think i will give them a try!

  15. February 16, 2011 / 9:52 am

    they look amazing, prunes and condensed milk, yum. Although I'm not a fan of dessicated coconut, do you reckon you could leave it out. Hope you have a lovely time at the beach.

  16. February 16, 2011 / 7:28 pm

    These look dangerously like some of the delectables one could get in the Foreman Rd cafeteria!!! Although much much MUCH tastier! Might have to try this out with some Canadian ingredients xx

  17. February 20, 2011 / 11:57 am

    Heya Lucy,

    I tried baking a chocolate prune cake once even thought I thought it sounded seriously odd. Turns out I loved it! So I'm guessing throwing a delicious buttery base under all those lovely ingredients is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    ps: i LOVE your blog's wallpaper. Very Frankie!

  18. February 21, 2011 / 5:48 am

    I love prunes!!! they are one of my favourite dried fruits! 🙂

  19. February 21, 2011 / 8:00 am

    Wow these prune bars looks really yummy! Drool

  20. February 21, 2011 / 8:42 pm

    Oh you do have some fab recipes, no wonder you're in love with this one. I have far more photos of cake on my computer than I do of all the people I know put together several times over – oh what does that say about my friendship!

  21. February 26, 2011 / 10:14 am

    hi lucy!greetings fm greece!your blog is wonderful!
    may i sub the 1/2 tin sweet condensed milk with 1/2 tin evaporated one, or may i use fresh milk & how many gr?
    i'm also thinkin of using some nice local dried figs roughly chopped and soaked in a spalsh of amaretto disaronno liquore for a few mins! thx for your kind answer!

  22. February 27, 2011 / 1:14 am

    Thanks everyone – I actually have to ban myself from making this because I can't resist demolishing the whole lot in one go.
    Zaza, I don't think fresh or evaporated milk would be quite the same, but if you google 'homemade condensed milk' I'm sure you'll find a recipe. I LOVE the sound of the amaretto-soaked figs though, delicious!

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