Dates are a delicious fruit which is often eaten at Christmas time in the UK. So I decided that I would take that humble date and make a very special treat, by stuffing and coating in chocolate.
Of course there are a whole host of different things that could be used to stuff the dates, but I decided upon a selection of different nuts. I also decided to coat the dates in chocolate and then use some additional flavours and textures on the outside. One reason for that was to have a base to the dates so that a big chocolate foot wasn’t created. So I chose almonds, hazelnuts and pistacchios to fill the dates, and also chocolate hazelnut spread for the hazelnut ones.
For the dates I chose Medjool Dates. I had never tasted these before but they really are very good indeed. Any dates would be fine too, though they may be smaller than the Medjool Dates.
I also decided to use milk chocolate though dark and milk would work equally well. I also decided to try to temper the chocolate so that it would set up better, but that isn’t necessary either as simply melted chocolate would work well.
In the recipe below I detail the temperatures required to temper milk, dark and white chocolate for those who want to try that.
In the video I talk about making 18 stuffed dates, but for the recipe I have increased that to 24, simply because I had enough chocolate left to do another 6.
Although the process takes a little time it is very simple to do and the resultant stuffed dates are really delicious. They are ideal as an extra little treat for Christmas.
- 150g milk chocolate(you can use dark or white too) chopped into pieces
- 50g milk chocolate(you can use dark or white too) very finely chopped
- 24 Medjool dates
- 24 pistacchios
- 16 blanched almonds
- 16 hazelnuts
- about 2 tbsp dried cranberries, finely chopped
- about 2 tbsp chopped roasted hazelnuts
- about 2 tbsp dessicated coconut
- 1-2 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread
- Carefully slit open the dates and remove the stone/pit.
- Stuff 8 dates with two almonds each, and close the slit to seal.
- Stuff 8 dates with 3 pistacchios each, and close the slit to seal
- Pipe a little chococate hazelnut spread into the remaing 8 dates and stuff with 2 hazelnuts, the close the slit to seal.
- Set the dates aside.
- Spread the cranberries onto a baking tray or similar, close together ready for the dates to be set on them.
- Spread the coconut onto a baking tray or similar, close together ready for the dates to be set on it.
- Spread the chopped hazelnuts onto a baking tray or similar, close together ready for the dates to be set on them
- In a large bowl, over a bowl of just simmering water, melt 150g of milk chocolate until it is smooth and has reached a temperature of 45C-50C(113F-122F). For dark 55C-58C (131F-136F), For white 45C-50C(113F-122F).
- Remove from the heat and add the finely chopped 50g of chocolate and stir in until melted and the temperature reduces to 27C-28C(81F-82F) for milk chocolate, 28C-29C (82F-84F) for dark and for white 26C-27C (79F-81F).
- Heat again by placing the bowl onto the pan of hot water and allowing the temperature to increase to 29C-30C(84F-86F) for milk, 31C-32C (88F-90F) for dark, and 28C-29C (82F-84F) for white.
- Remove from the pan again and dip each date in chocolate and roll in coconut(for almond dates), place on chopped hazelnut for the hazelnuts dates and place on the cranberries for the pistacchio dates.
- Sprinkle a few chopped hazelnuts on top of the hazelnut dates.
- Sprinkle a few of the chopped cranberries on the top of the pistacchio dates.
- Allow the dates to set to chocolate before serving(or storing in an airtight container.