Platinum Chocolate Ganache and California Prunes Tart – Fit for a Queen!

This tart, made to celebrate the 70th Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the 70th anniversary of the California Prune Board, looks and tastes rich and luxurious, but the addition of California Prunes at each stage means that the fat and sugar content has been significantly reduced.

Many of us remember the tinned prunes and custard that our grannies served, but California Prunes are an incredibly versatile ingredient in home baking, lending a rich, velvety flavour and texture to both sweet and savoury dishes. Coupled with their exceptional taste, California Prunes contribute to health – in ways other than their famed digestive health – their vitamin K and manganese content contribute to bone health, and their potassium, vitamin B6 and copper contribute to immunity, heart health and the normal functioning of the nervous system.

The tart can be made in stages to fit around your other food preparations. The prune butter will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be used in any recipe: by using equal quantities of fat-free California Prunes and butter, you automatically reduce the fat content by 50%.

The pastry can be made in advance and frozen before it’s rolled out. Just leave to thaw fully before rolling out, and it may require a little extra cooking time to ensure that it is crisp (remember that Paul Hollywood doesn’t appreciate a soggy bottom!).

Makes: 8-10Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus 90 minutes’ chilling timeCook Time: 20 minutes


  • California Prunes Butter
  • • 105g California Prunes
  • • 105g salted butter
  • Chocolate Pastry
  • • 175g plain flour
  • • 20g cocoa powder
  • • 70g California Prunes butter
  • • 50g caster sugar
  • • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • • Pinch of salt
  • • Egg white for brushing
  • Salted Caramel
  • • 200g granulated sugar
  • • 90g California Prunes butter
  • • 120ml whipping cream
  • • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • • ½ tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • • 300g good quality dark chocolate
  • • 240g warm water
  • • 50g California Prunes butter



How to make…
…the California Prunes Butter
1. Blend the California Prunes and butter together until smooth (about 2 mins).
2. Refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes before use.
…the Chocolate Pastry
1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl.
2. Gently rub in the California Prunes butter (don’t overwork).
3. Stir in the caster sugar.
4. Beat the egg, egg yolk and vanilla essence lightly and add to the dry mix. Use a fork to begin to bring the mixture together.
5. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured board and gently knead until the dough is homogenous. Don’t overwork, or the pastry will become tough.
6. Form the dough into a disc shape, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
7. Spray a 26cm fluted, loose-bottomed flan tin with low fat oil.
8. Bring the chilled dough out of the fridge and knock with a rolling pin to soften slightly.
9. Roll the dough out into a circle of approximately 32cm and about 2mm thick.
10. Place the dough into the prepared tin and gently press into the fluting around the edges. Trim the top.
11. Line the dough with a circle of baking paper that overlaps the edges (so that they don’t burn when in the oven), and fill the base with baking beans.
12. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
13. Heat the oven to 180°.
14. Remove the tart base from the fridge and bake blind for 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the baking beans and baking paper, brush the base and sides with egg white and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
15. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.
…the Salted Caramel
1. Melt the sugar over a medium heat until it forms a thick amber liquid. Stir occasionally when the sugar begins to clump together so that it doesn’t burn.
2. Add the California Prunes butter. Don’t worry if it separates, just keep whisking and it will all come together! Once combined, cook for 1 minute on a low heat for 1 minute.
3. Add the cream and vanilla in a slow stream, stirring continually. Once combined, allow to boil for 1 minute.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt.
5. Allow to cool; the caramel will thicken as it cools. Whilst still at a pouring consistency, pour into the pastry base.
6. Chill in the fridge whilst you make the ganache.
…the Chocolate Ganache
The addition of warm water and prune butter to the ganache seems a little counter-intuitive, but it produces a superb topping with all the richness, and very little of the fat – trust me!
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
2. Gradually add the warm water and beat each time until smooth. The end result will be quite runny, but don’t panic, it sets to a perfect consistency!
3. Stir in the prune butter.
4. Leave to cool a little before carefully pouring into the tart on top of the caramel.
To serve:
1. Serve with a good quality vanilla ice cream (although an orange and prosecco sorbet works really well too).
2. Dust with platinum sugar sprinkles.


Linda McGillivary