I first made these many years ago for a friend who is allergic to dairy and wheat, and she proclaimed them the best chocolates she'd ever had. I forgot about them for a long time, then last week I was trying to think up something suitably decadent to put on my husband's birthday cake and I found some dates in the cupboard, some dark chocolate, some ground almonds... they ended up as chocolates on top of the cake, but would be equally good in petit-four cases in a pretty box and given as a present. Easy and fun to make- you can't go wrong with these luscious little choccies!
24 dates, stoned and split
175-200g plain chocolate
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
1 1/2 tsps natural almond essence
cocoa powder for dusting
- To make the marzipan, mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and almond essence together with a little water, to get a paste-like consistency. (Take care not to add too much water, or the resulting sticky mass will be impossible to handle!)
- Fill the date halves with the marzipan and press together
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl placed over a pan of hot water to melt
- When the chocolate has melted, give it a quick stir to get rid of any remaining lumps and dip each filled date carefully to coat.
- Lay on a piece of foil to cool and set, and dust with cocoa powder before completely solid.