Plum & chocolate marmalade...

It's that time of the year when I spend and awful time in the kitchen making jams and marmalades. I've already made gooseberry & apple jam, and we were lucky enough with our two blackcurrant bushes this year that they gave us over 2 kg of fruit, and my blackcurrant & peach jam is happily sitting on the shelf too.
It was finally time for my favourite sweet treat, as the plums are in season and we bought them for almost nothing (I actually did a small calculation and a jar of this beautiful marmalade cost me € 0,59 not including the electricity for the cooking part, which couldn't be that much anyway!).

If you like chocolate (and who doesn't like chocolate?!) you'll love this marmalade. Plums and chocolate is a marriage made in heaven so this works beautifully. It's great alternative to that very popular chocolate-hazelnut spread you can buy ;) and a jar of homemade marmalade slso makes a fantastic present!

How to make it...
- 6 kg plums (stones removed, fruit cut into quarters)
- 2 kg caster sugar (little less or little more depending on how ripe your plums are)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 200 g dark chocolate (min. 70 % cocoa)

Place your plums in a non-stick pot, big enough to hold all your fruit + sugar. Add the sugar, turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Stir the fruit from time to time to make sure they're not catching at the bottom. Once the fruit is soft, take a hand held liquidizer/blender and puree your fruit - you don't have to do that, but I like my marmalade smooth and I like to "break" the plums' skin.
Turn the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for at least 3 hours (make sure it bubbles from time to time), so it evaporates a lot and your marmalade thickens (I'm always looking for a loose custard consistency and deep, dark colour). When you're happy with the fruit, add the cocoa powder and the whole chocolate. Stir well, so it all melts. If you want you can add more chocolate, but I don't like chocolate to overpower the plums, as I like that hint of sweet and slightly sour (from the skins) fruit. Turn the heat up and boil your marmalade rapidly for about 5 minutes (you might want to return the lid on for that, as it splashes badly), make sure it reaches temperature of 105 C or more, to guarantee you that it will be nice and thick once it cools.
Transfer your marmalade into sterilized jars and close them tightly straight away. Turn up side down and cover with a towel. Leave the jars like that to cool completely. Once they cold, the covers should be 'sucked in' - I never boil the jars, bake them in the oven, nothing, that's my way of canning jams and marmalades, and it never disappointed me.


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Blackcurrant & peach jam             Gooseberry jam