Chocolate Dates

Çıkolatali Hurma

Purists would say this is not a very Turkish dish, since dates tend to come from Arab countries further to the south and east, and chocolate is a rare ingredient in our desserts (disappointing for a chocoholic like me). But we certainly use almonds and pistachios, so I’ve included them to appease the nationalists. Çikolatalı hurma has the great advantage of being easy to make with just a few minutes’ notice—assuming your pantry is equipped with the right balance of Turkish and Arabic pleasures.

Ingredients

  • 16 dates (preferably medjool)
  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) slivered almonds
  • 150 g ( oz) bitter chocolate (70 per cent cocoa)
  • 70 g ( oz/½ cup) ground pistachios

Method

Slit each date and remove the pit. Stuff the cavity with slivered almonds.

Bring 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place a small metal mixing bowl over the pan, making sure it covers the sides like a lid but does not touch the water below. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Break the chocolate into small pieces and gradually add to the bowl, stirring constantly so that the chocolate melts but doesn’t separate. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, place the dates, one at a time, in the hot melted chocolate and coat completely. Remove the chocolate-coated dates, place them on the prepared tray, and leave to cool slightly.

Put the pistachios in a small bowl. Dip the still-warm dates in the nuts to half cover, and then transfer to a clean tray. Put the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes for the chocolate to set, and then serve.