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Originally, this was supposed to be a sea salted caramels recipe, where I'd blend the dates up with other ingredients and then roll them into balls and stick in the fridge, before coating them with chocolate. But when I came to make it, I just looked at the dates, all lined up in their little tray, and thought how gorgeous they are just on their own, as they are. Gorgeous.
What I love about these are that they suit the purpose of both a quick kitchen worktop snack for your sweet tooth - but they'd be amazing to bring out at a party or after dinner for a posh dessert.
As you know, I don't do well with dairy, so although you can use any chocolate you like for this, I use Ombar chocolate. It's made with raw cacao, coconut milk and sweetened with just coconut sugar. I love them. And they have a lot of different flavours and fillings, too. For these, I used the 72% raw cacao bar. Feel free to double up with ingredients if you need to make more.
Sea Salted Chocolate Covered Dates
6 large, juicy Medjool dates
35g Ombar 72% raw cacao bar (or your favourite chocolate, if you prefer)
pinch of sea salt flakes (I use Maldon Sea Salt)
Take your dates out of the fridge (the chocolate will set more quickly if they're cold, but if they're at room temperature that's fine too). With a sharp knife, carefully make a slit down the length of each date, open it like a book slightly and remove the stone in the centre. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt in the centre of each date, and then push it back together.
Break up the chocolate bar in a small bowl, and microwave, in 10 second spurts, until melted. Take care not to overheat the chocolate. It's better to take it out of the microwave if the bowl is warm and leave on the side, as the chocolate will continue to melt in the heat of the bowl. Just stir it occasionally to help it along. If you prefer, you can melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water instead.
Once the chocolate is melted, take a teaspoon and spoon a little of the chocolate over the top of each date, hiding the cut you made to get the stone out, and letting it drip down the sides a little. While it's still not set, sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes.
Allow to set for a few minutes and serve.
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