I was thinking that I needed to come up with a treat for Valentine’s Day, and then this one came to me. As a chocolate lover, I will tell you, this is the BEST recipe I have ever invented. It is SIMPLE and yet has a complex, chewy, sweet, salty, wonderfulness to it! I had a girls’ night with my friends Tarena and Rhonda last night, and we sat around munching and chatting the whole night. We had plantain chips with guacamole, some fruit, apples, plain dates, a young coconut and these little goodies. It was an awesome time and we had awesome food!
This is a photo of Rhonda, Hudson (Tarena’s littlest one) and me (Tarena was shooting the photo! Bummer that she wasn’t in it too!):
Here, just in time for V-Day, is my new beloved chocolate recipe:
Chocolate Covered Caramel Dates
16 oz Fancy Medjool Dates, with the pits (they are so much chewier and more wonderful when they have the pits…the pitted ones dry out)
1 c honey
1/4 c butter plus 1 TB
4 oz Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
Hawaiian Sea Salt
1. Very carefully remove the pits, trying to make a hole in 1 end of the date only.
2. Use your finger to make the hole in the date bigger. Do this for all of the dates and set aside.
3. Bring 1 cup of honey to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Let it keep bubbling for about 3 more minutes.
4. Add tiny bits of the 1/4 cup of butter into the honey, whisking it in until it is melted and completely incorporated.
5. Let the honey caramel sit for a bit, as it will be really hot (you don’t want to work with super hot caramel–trust me ).
6. Once it has cooled down, very carefully spoon some of the caramel into the hole of each date. Set the dates upright in a small bowl, so that the caramel does not spill out. If caramel gets around the outside of the date, that is ok!
7. Set the dates in the fridge for 15 min or more to let the caramel harden.
8. Line a baking sheet (that will fit in the fridge) with parchment paper, set aside.
9. Melt 4 oz unsweetened chocolate with 1 TB of butter in a double boiler. (Or set a glass or metal bowl over the top of a small pot that is filled with water. Put the chocolate & butter in the bowl, set the pot over high heat.)
10. Dip the dates in the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the pan. Set the chocolate coated date on the prepared pan.
11. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the tops of the dates with Himilayan Sea Salt.
12. Set the pan of dates in the fridge for 10 minutes or more, or until the chocolate hardens.
13. They should probably be stored in the fridge, but they do ok at room temp for a while, also. I prefer them at room temperature (rather than cold), because the caramel is more gooey and wonderful when they’re warmer.
14. You may have extra caramel. Oh well! Feed spoonfuls of it to your children, or gobble it all up for yourself. Make some raw milk ice cream and serve it on top. Get creative–I’m sure you’ll think of something to do with it!