Posted by: Stephlechef | December 21, 2011

Dattes fourrées à la pâte d’amande (marzipan-stuffed dates)

I (sort of) hate to be a snob, but sometimes it’s nice to call things by their French name, isn’t it? I tried these on my year abroad, they are everywhere around Christmastime in France, although I think they are Moroccan in origin, and I couldn’t get enough! The paste inside is not actually marzipan but pâte d’amande… I am reliably informed that one of them has more sugar. I forget which. (Edit: aha, here we are, if you want to be geeky, have a gander at this http://www.ochef.com/1087.htm) But for the purpose of this recipe, marzipan will do, it’s just a different colour and a little softer. I did try to make my own almond paste, using a recipe I found on Youtube, but it failed miserably, it was all crumbly, not sticky-togethery at all, and I didn’t really know what to add to fix it. So I cracked out some pâte d’amande that I handily had in my baking box, and cheated. These are another lovely thing to put in bags as Christmas pressies, especially as an alternative to the very sugary/chocolatey treats we are inundated (geddit?) with at this time of year. (Also, they are again no-bake, and easy as anything :))

Stuffed dates

Makes as many as you want it to make (it really depends how many dates and how much marzipan you buy!)

Dates (I honestly don’t know much about dates, mine had a stone in and I don’t know if you can buy them without… my packet looked like this: http://www.juliangraves.com/foods/dried-fruits/dates/dessert-dates-200g.html)

Marzipan (or pate d’amande if you can get it) as pale as it comes, preferably, as you have to dye it!

Green and pink food colouring

If your dates have a stone in like mine did, take it out by making a cut all along the top of the date (as if it were a hot dog) and prise out the stone. Leave the stoned (lol) dates in the fridge while you do the next bit – I just found it made them less soft and easier to work with without tearing them.

Divide the marzipan into three equal-sized pieces, and colour one of them pink, one of them green, and leave the last one undyed.

Take the dates from the fridge, and roll a ball of marzipan the size of a small olive into a fat sausage shape. Push into the hole in the date and squidge the date together at the end. Dip the top of the date in caster sugar. Then repeat with however many you’ve decided to make!

(See my post on coconut ice for info on wrapping)  https://stephlechef.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/coconut-ice/

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