Healthy Date Sweets
The inspiration behind this post it two-fold. One is Mary-Anne my healthy and artistic friend, and the other is children, my children in particular who have volunteered not to eat sweets – Mats for 3 days, Olivia for two weeks! The thing is, they don’t eat sweets every day and certainly during week days they do not. However they would have had a ‘Willy Wonka’ ice cream in the pub during Sunday afternoon’s children’s film containing marshmallows and maltesers. But they didn’t, and I am so impressed with them as this is certainly not the norm. So, I thought of the sweets Mary-Anne makes using dried fruit and followed suit. One has added cocoa powder for those needing a chocolate kick. I am a stickler for top quality ingredients and cocoa powder is one of them. Anna del Conte tested cocoa powder with me. We dipped our fingers in Green and Black cocoa powder and in Valhrona and the latter was by far superior. So go online and buy it if you can’t get it locally. It is worth every taste-bud inspired penny.
250g/8.8 oz. dates, stoned
125 cashew nuts
4 tsp cocoa powder – optional (though add as much or as little as you like, according to your chocolate desire)
cocoa powder for coating the outside or
dessicated coconut for coating the outside.
1. Put the dates in a food processor and whizz them, adding a little hot water from a kettle to loosen them.
2. Add the cocoa powder now if you are using it, or if you want to make half and half, then add it after stage three, mixing vigorously with a spoon or your hands if you have disposable gloves.
3. When the dates have smushed, add the nuts and pulse them until they are roughly chopped.
4. Put some clingfilm on a flat surface and either sprinkle dessicated coconut or cocoa powder on it, depending on what you would like to use.
5. Put the mixture on top of the coating and roll it into a cylindar shape, then wrap the clingfilm around it and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
6. Remove it from the cling film and slice it into rounds with a very sharp knife.
7. These will keep for ages. I like them kept sealed in the fridge, up to you.