Chocolate covered stuffed Medjool dates make for a really tasty dessert or snack. This is a recipe for two varieties of stuffed dates - one with an orange baklava filling, and the other with rose infused tahini paste, both covered in chocolate and topped with nuts and rose petals.
This week, millions of Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan. Often, dates are consumed to open the daily fast. As Amsterdam has a large Muslim population, the markets and shops are filled with an abundance of succulent dates. This stuffed date recipe uses the juiciest variety of dates - medjool dates.
I first came across stuffed dates in the early 2000's during my first trip to Dubai. Every shop had beautiful shiny boxes filled with embellished dates, so of course I bought a bag full and got hooked immediately. Even though dates were always in my mum's kitchen, medjool dates were a rare find in Scotland back then. Now, medjool dates can be found in most grocery stores, and you bet we always have a pack by our fruit bowl.
These chocolate covered stuffed dates are simple to make, although chilling time adds to the process. The first thing to prepare are the dates. Medjool work the best as they are soft and big in size, although this recipe will work for any. Slice one side of the date with a paring knife to create a slit, and remove the pit.
Next, is preparing the two stuffings. For the rose infused tahini paste, mix the tahini with a pinch of cardamom powder and a little rosewater until its homogenous. It will thicken as stirred. The second date stuffing is the baklava filling. Baklava is possibly my favorite dessert so stuffing it in a date just made sense! Of course, there is no filo pastry involved, so it's much straight forward. To make baklava stuffing, mince nuts in a food processor or using a knife until they are in small pieces but not powdered. Then, add browned melted butter. This gives an enhanced rich and nutty flavor to the baklava filling. Finally, add honey, orange zest, orange juice, salt and ground cinnamon to the nuts and mix until fully combined - so good even on its own!