The Perfect Date

marzipan dates

There are some days when I really crave a sweet snack! Usually in the evenings after dinner which is obviously the worst time to go overdosing on refined sugars. Medjool dates are soft and delicious. These plump, succulent beauties make the perfect, naturally sweet snack, healthy dessert or dinner party canapé.

Dates have been harvested by humans since before 6,000 BC. There are many varieties but it was the Medjool date that was crowned the ‘fruit of kings’, reserved only for royalty and their guests.

With sweet honey, caramel and cinnamon flavours, it’s easy to see why the aristocracy loved them. There’s also a heap of potassium crammed into these heavenly little fruit. Potassium helps to build muscle tone, making medjools the perfect, post gym treat.

I’ve chosen to combine these energy packed fruit with my other, favourite, post workout power snack ~ almonds.

Homemade marzipan is so easy to make. It’s simply almonds, honey and a few drops of rosewater blitzed together. If I’m making a smooth, cake covering marzipan, I’ll use ground almonds. For this recipe however, I’m using whole almonds which create a crunchy, coarse paste.

dates slate

INGREDIENTS

10 medjool dates

100g almonds

2 tablespoons of manuka honey

A few drops of rosewater

10 apricot kernels (optional to decorate)

SALTED CARAMEL

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 tablespoon honey

Pinch of himalayan salt

stuffed dates recipe

Place the almonds in a high speed chopper and blitz until the nuts turn to coarse grains. Pour in the honey and a couple of drops of rosewater. Blitz again until the chopped nuts begin to form a paste. The longer you blitz the nuts and honey the smoother the consistency. I like to keep the almonds just a little bit crunchy and textured.

Carefully use a knife to cut open each date in turn. Medjool dates are so plump and soft, the stone should pop right out. Gently squish the date so that you can fit a good teaspoon full of coarse marzipan inside. Pop an apricot kernel on top and place on a refrigerated plate.

In a saucepan gently warm the salted caramel ingredients, stirring with a spoon to ensure everything is well combined. Allow to cool so that the mixture begins to thicken and return to its solid state. Once cooler, use a teaspoon to drizzle each date in salted caramel. The cold, refrigerated plate will help the sauce to set fast. Before it fully sets, sprinkle chopped nuts (including some pistachios for colour) over the stuffed dates.

Serve these stunning little fruit to your dinner party guests ~ sweets truly fit for king and queen.

stuffed dates

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