Happy New Year and hello 2018! I am happy to be back after a lovely break, it was great to have a change from the regular routine for a while. Now though, it’s time to get back into the swing of things and it really feels as though we have hit the ground running this week hasn’t it? (My inbox alone can attest to that.) I have got a good feeling about this year…2018 – I am ready for you!
Recipe books make me happy and I had two in my Christmas stocking these holidays. The first is Yotam Ottolenghi’s new offering “Sweet” written with Helen Goh. It’s a stunning collection of tried and tested cakes, cookies, ice cream and cheesecakes … to name a few, and is my new go-to book for sweet inspiration. The other book is “Deliciously Ella” by Ella Woodward and is filled with gluten free vegan recipes that you want to sink your teeth into. They sum up what’s happening in my kitchen at the moment – a focus on whole, nourishing meals but with a few treats thrown in for good measure! I am sure this will be reflected in the recipes that I share with you in the coming months, but what I can promise you is that the recipes I create will still be for accessible, delicious food that you can make in your kitchens at home. (And if there is anything particular that you would like to see on the blog feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email!)
So… date caramel y’all. It’s a real and beautiful thing, and I wish I had tried it sooner! With just four ingredients this no-bake date caramel and chocolate dessert can be whipped up effortlessly. The caramel itself is vegan and dairy free and also delicious if simply eaten on its own.
Cook’s notes: these caramel pots can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge, but please note that the chocolate layer will become much firmer when refrigerated.
DATE CARAMEL AND CHOCOLATE POTS
For the date caramel:
- 250g pitted dates
- boiling water to soak
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100ml coconut cream
For the chocolate ganache:
- 150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp coconut cream
1.) Place the dates in small bowl. Add boiling water, enough to cover the dates, and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
2.) Drain the dates and pop them into a food processor. Blitz the dates into a paste. Add the vanilla extract and coconut cream. Blitz the mixture again for a good 3 minutes to get the caramel as smooth as possible. Divide the mixture between four ramekins and refrigerate while you make the ganache.
3.) To make the ganache: Place the dark chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the coconut cream to boiling point, then pour it over the chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute, then whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth.
4.) Divide the ganache between the four ramekins, spooning it over the caramel. Allow to stand and cool for a few minutes before serving.