Last Christmas I made stuffed dates and I loved them so much, that I made them again, this time I made 6 different ones. I had no idea they would be so good, but these can be served instead of any dessert.
My suggestion is, firstly, not to use 500g, like I did, unless you have guests coming. Also, if you make 6 different ones you might be curious to try all of them, again, as I did. Even thought these are very healthy, they still have a lot of calories.
The ingredients for these are expensive, the Medjool dates are the most expensive dates, but they can’t be substituted with any other kind of dates. They are softer, with more flesh, and so delicious. Considering that most of these are made with only 2 or 3 ingredients, the quality of the ingredients is very important.
This will not be a standard recipe, but I will talk about each flavour I made. Besides the dates, I used only ingredients that I had in my cupboards. So, I will also give suggestions for other recipes for the fillings, if you don’t have the ingredients I keep and restock every time they run out, such as orange blossom water or rose petals.
My Stuffed dates
Starting from top left to bottom right, clockwise, the flavours are: Tahin Pekmez (my recipe); pistachio butter; rose marzipan with rose petals; dark chocolate ganache with cocoa nibs; orange blossom marzipan paste; salty peanut butter with salted peanuts.
Tahin pekmez is a Turkish spread, made with tahini and grape molasses. I used the 1:1 ratio and it is delicious with the dates. I think an alternative to grape molasses could be golden syrup or maple syrup. Leave it in the fridge for a few minutes before filling the dates.
Make the dates filled with dark chocolate ganache with cocoa nibs next. In a small bowl I’ve put a few pieces of good quality dark chocolate. I poured some soy milk on top and put it the microwave for 10-15 seconds. I stirred the chocolate until it melted. After that I put the chocolate ganache in the fridge to set a bit. When it was like a thick paste, I filled the dates with it.
For the rose marzipan I’ve used the recipe I always use, a ration of 2:1 of grounded almonds to icing sugar. The shop-bought marzipan is the other way around, twice as much sugar than almonds, which is a shame as one can only taste sugar and nothing else. You only need a small amount for the dates, 20g of ground almonds is enough to fill 4 dates. Add a bit of rose water, less than half of teaspoon, and make the marzipan. Make sure you add even less rose water if it has a very strong taste. You can brush the marzipan with a bit of water before sprinkling the rose petals on top, so they can stick better.
With the orange blossom marzipan paste I did something else, I used the same ingredients for marzipan, added a bit of orange blossom water and a bit of water too. After I filled in the dates I put them in the fridge and the marzipan paste hardened a bit. It has a different texture to marzipan, so it is worth trying it like that too.
Lastly, the dates filled with nut butters are really straight forward. Just put the butter you have. I prefer the pistachio butter, but these are really good with peanut butter too. You can get nut butters from any supermarket. Some are cheaper or more expensive, so get the one you fancy. Just make sure it is a good quality, without palm oil or sugar. For Christmas I’ve added some chopped pistachios, but I didn’t have any more, so I left the pistachio ones as they were. I think both versions look nice.
These stuffed dates are amazing. I bought an even bigger pack of Medjool dates to make this again, from the ethnic shop, as they sell them in larger packs. I will restrain myself to only 2 or 3 flavours.
Have you had stuffed dates before? Is it something you’d like to try?