This is probably the simplest dessert in the Universe, but it’s one of my favorites. Basically, these are dates filled with anything you come up with and covered in chocolate. But although there are only a few ingredients involved, this dessert does require some patience to be made.
I picked up this idea from my friend Andrea, who often makes these little treats. While the two of us just call them something like “little dates” in Serbian, I named them “Blind Dates” in English because the pun is just too good not to be used. Just like in a blind date, you never know what you’re gonna get. But unlike real blind dates, there’s no way these treats are gonna disappoint you. 😀
You will need
- Fresh dates (Mazafati or Medjool work best)
- Filling: roasted almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts; nut butter; dried or fresh fruit…
- Chocolate (dark works best in my opinion, but feel free to experiment) + 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- Tweezers for pitting the dates
How to make
Step 1: Start by carefully pitting the dates. Insert the tweezers and pull the seed out.
Step 2 (optional): When you’re done removing the seeds, wash the dates with warm water, or soak them for a very brief time (20-30 seconds). You’ll need to peel them, and this makes the process easier. I prefer peeled dates, but if you’re feeling lazy, you can skip this step.
Step 3: Now is the time to get creative! Insert a roasted almond, walnut, hazelnut or peanut into a date, where the seed used to be. You can also add a piece of dried or fresh fruit (I find red fruits like raspberries, strawberries, and cherries to work best). You can fill the dates with nut butter using a piping bag or a very small teaspoon, but I gotta admit it’s too messy for me. And I’m not that patient. 🙂
Step 4: Finally, time to cover the dates in chocolate. You can get creative here as well: I love it how dark chocolate gets along with these dates, but you can also try milk or white chocolate; or make your own (recipe coming soon :)).
Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil. Stir well, dip the dates in chocolate, and line them on a parchment paper.
Step 5: Now you only need to resist the urge to eat ‘em all immediately. Put the dates in the fridge and let them chill until the chocolate is hardened. After half an hour or even less, your Blind Dates will be ready to pleasantly surprise everyone who tries them.
Tips and tricks
Melt the chocolate in a microwave (two intervals of 30 seconds, stir in between) or in a double boiler over a pot of simmering water. Never melt chocolate directly on the stove; it will end up being chunky.
Alternatively, you can make your own dark chocolate (you can find the recipe here). In this case, serve the Blind Dates straight out of the fridge, since homemade chocolate melts in room temperature.
You can cover the dates in ground nuts of choice, cocoa or shredded coconut while the chocolate is still warm. I like to keep things simple, so I think this is overkill, but it can make the dates look more interesting.
Nutrition facts are given for one Medjool date with one roasted almond and 70% cocoa dark chocolate, and they vary depending on the ingredients you use.