I've always loved how the sweetness of dates and chocolate match up. Dates are incredibly delicious fresh (that crunch!) but when they are left to ripen, they become nature's most divine sugar treat. This dessert was something of a rich dark brown chocolate-date canvas laced with cardamom and grated coconut and bejeweled with crushed walnuts and chopped dried apricots. The combination of all these ingredients turned out to be fantastic with flavours that linger in your mouth and take your tastebuds off on a Chocolate Safari... indeed, the most appropriate way I found to name this treat.
Chopped walnuts, dried apricots, and dates galore. A pinch of cardamom brings some magic to it all!
Top the jewels on a base of chocolate-coconut-cardamom batter
Once baked, each slice is thin but rich with flavour. Thicker then this, the dessert may feel too heavy.
Bite into the flavours, textures and colours. Best enjoyed warm.
Recipe for Chocolate Safari
100gr 60% chocolate, chopped
200gr butter, softened
150gr grated unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Handful of chopped walnuts
Handful of chopped dates
Handful of chopped dried apricots
Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
In a pot, melt the chocolate & butter together. Transfer into a large bowl. Add the eggs and sugar. Mix all ingredients well. Add the flour, grated coconut and ground cardamom and mix until a smooth batter is obtained. Finally, add the walnuts, dates and dried apricots and gently stir.
Transfer to a mold lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter thinly (no more then 2.5 cm/1 inch in height). This should not be a tall cake.
Bake for 30 minutes- check with a sharp knife to see if cooked. Extend cooking time for 10 minutes if necessary.
Slice up and enjoy warm.