Indulging chocolate-coated Saudi dates

Today’s recipe is inspired by those wonderful Saudi and Emirati dates I used to enjoy in the Middle-East.

There is an abundance of dates over there but above all, each specie has a character and an after-taste, from meaty to dry, from a liquorice to a caramel after-taste. To top it all, nothing beats “Rotab”, a sort of meaty date before the dried stage, it’s oozing honey.

In Morocco, it’s quite common as a guest to be received with dates and milk especially during weddings and happy events, a bit like any other Arab country.

We stuff Medjool dates with coloured almond paste (70% almond- 30% sugar-drops of orange blossom water), we also brush the dates with the orange blossom water. And if there is no almond paste, we just stuff with almonds or walnuts.

But in the Middle East, it gets even better: They coat dates with chocolate, they stuff it with caramelized nuts (walnuts, hazelnut, almond, pecans, pistachio) or candied orange peels. They even stuff dried apricots, good Turkish dry figs… It’s really very inspiring.

So today, I have applied the same logic, except that the stuffing is my idea; I just had it when I saw a small bowl of chocolate-praline leftover sitting in my fridge. It was a instant hit in the family: I stuffed some of the Saudi dates (meaty with a strong caramel after-taste) with a chocolate praliné-paste and the whole thing was coated in dark chocolate. They I left them in the fridge to set and I decorated with crushed almond (fried).

Isn’t that an instant treat? No baking needed

The chocolate melts in the month, the praline adds a caramelized crunchy texture and all in a soft bite originating from the beautiful dates..

Chocolate and praline-paste

These coated dates keeps well in the freezer for weeks, no baking needed and even if you haven’t got a praline-paste (you should consider making it), just caramelize your favourite nuts and stuff the dates with a few…

 

7 thoughts on “Indulging chocolate-coated Saudi dates

  1. Hi Nada, I've never had a fresh date. I've just tried preserved/dried dates which I never liked at all. If they're all ground up as a filling in cakes they're ok, but just whole… not a fan. Are fresh ones very different? It's something I'd love to try but am scared :DEven though I didn't have dates before I can appreciate this wonderful looking dish – such a dainty little treat! 🙂

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  2. Hi Charles, The fresh Emirati dates are wonderful: imagine a big prune soaked in honey. They're usually kept in the fridge. When you bite, it's like you are biting in a soft honey-soaked treat which is very comforting. I tried other \”fresh\” dates somewhere else, nothing felt like it. Back to the coated dates, I encourage you to try! between foodies lol..

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