Christmas with Dan’s Date & Hazelnut Bars
For Christmas this year, we were going take a break from tradition and have Christmas lunch on the beach with friends. Something robust, nutritious, filling and delicious was needed for this and what better candidate to take along than Dan Lepard’s chocolate crumble date bars. This was yet another post I first saw on Suelle’s fabulous blog, Mainly Baking as her October entry for We Should Cocoa. It was only a matter of time before I gave these a go and if Suelle had not already done so, I would probably have entered them for this month’s date challenge.
This is what I did:
- Simmered 375g pitted dates with 100ml orange juice and 100ml water for 10 minutes until soft. Left to cool.
- Roasted 75g of hazelnuts for 10 mins at 180C, then rubbed off their skins and roughly chopped.
- Rubbed 125g unsalted butter in 250g plain flour (150g wholemeal, 100g white), 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp cocoa, 2 tsp dried orange zest and 125g light muscovado sugar until mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Stirred in 100g roughly chopped milk chocolate (G&B 35%) and the hazelnuts.
- Pressed 2/3 of mixture into the bottom of a 9″ sq silicone mould until firm.
- Spread over the date mixture.
- Stirred in a tbsp of water into the remaining crumble to make the mixture stick a little.
- Spooned this over the dates.
- Baked at 180C for 30 minutes.
- Left to cool and cut into 16 squares.