This is my new favorite desert. Dates are one of those foods I didn't realize I loved until I moved to California. I bought my first container of them from "the date guy" at the Burlingame Farmers' Market. And I haven't been able to stop buying or eating them since. They are a great sweet snack on their own. The addition of chocolate makes them divine.
The original recipe is from Heidi Swanson at 101 cookbooks. Here's how it goes:
Dates filled with Chocolate
12 dates (I used medjool)*
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
*The original recipe calls for 48 dates - much more than I needed for my small dinner party! I stopped at 12 and used the rest of the chocolate to dip strawberries and bananas in (they'll last in the fridge for a couple of days).
**The original recipe calls for blanched almonds. I've never perfected the art of blanching almonds and didn't really understand why you wouldn't want the skin in this dessert. I roasted them instead. This added a nice crunch to the dates.
Cut one side of the dates from top to bottom and remove the pit.
Bring the whipping cream to a boil in a small pan. Remove it from the heat. Add the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Whisk the chocolate into the cream until it is smooth. Let sit to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
Spoon the chocolate into a ziplock bag. Cut one corner of the bag to create a small hole. This is your device for getting the chocolate into the date pit cavity. Fill each date with the chocolate cream and nestle and almont, flat side down, on top of the chocolate.
Refrigerate the dates, but bring to room temperature before serving (about 15 minutes out of the fridge will do it).
We enjoyed our chocolate-filled dates with chocolate-dipped strawberries, bananas, and glasses of port.