Susie Csorsz Brown
Date Caramel Chocolates
Chocolate should definitely have a place in your diet. Especially really good chocolate. Here is an option that we came up with that combines the goodness (and tastiness!) of dark chocolate with date caramel (which is easier to make than you ever imagined) and nutty yumminess. I mean, you could probably just stir everything together in a bowl, and then eat it with a spoon, too, but these little minicups are so very cute they are worth making. Luckily, this makes enough to share, too, so you can make your friends and neighbors happy at the same time! Hope you try it!
Date Caramel Chocolates
Makes 24 mini chocolates
1 1/2 cup chopped raw nuts (such as walnuts or almonds, or pecans or a mix of your favorite)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cup pitted Medjool or other soft dates
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 T virgin coconut oil
Flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 300°. Arrange about 24 foil mini cupcake liners on a baking sheet.
Spread nuts, coconut, and sesame seeds in an even layer on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring once or twice, until nuts are darkened and fragrant and coconut is starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Once toasted, remove from oven, let cool briefly, and then finely chop (note: don't grind them, as that will bring this mixture to a powder consistency; you want some bigger and smaller pieces).
Meanwhile, place dates in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover dates and let soak 10 minutes. Drain dates, reserving soaking liquid.
Transfer dates and 2 Tbsp. soaking liquid to a blender or food processor. Add salt and cinnamon and pulse, scraping down bowl occasionally, until smooth and creamy, with no large pieces of dates remaining. Be patient: It will take about 3–5 minutes. If you’re having trouble getting the dates to break down, add more soaking liquid 1 tsp. at a time. You should have about 1 cup date caramel.
Get your assembly area ready with the prepared liners, the chopped nuts in a nearby small bowl, and the date caramel on hand. The caramel is easiest to scoop with 2 small spoons.
Melt chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute total.
Assemble your treats: Pour 1 tsp melted chocolate into each liner (no need to be exact, you just want a thin layer). Top with a small scoop of nut mixture, pressing to spread out the chocolate a bit (you want every nut to be in contact with chocolate so it won’t fall off). sing 2 spoons, dollop about 1 tsp. date caramel into each, pressing to gently spread down and around. Top each cup with 1 tsp. melted chocolate, drizzling over the top of the caramel in a decorative method. Sprinkle each cup with a small amount of flaky sea salt.
Note: You might consider assembling one or two fully to get a better idea of how much of each ingredient you want to use in order to fill your liners without overfilling them.
Chill until chocolate is firm, about 1 hour. Then enjoy!