Unpacking boxes of food items to stock my newly built pantry, I came across a jar of date molasses. Date molasses is similar to blackstrap molasses but milder in flavor (golden syrup or treacle can be used here instead). The date molasses inspired me to create a slice similar to a very popular ginger crunch that originates in Takaka (the original recipe can be found here) but using dates (obviously) to appeal to people not overly fond of ginger. I don’t completely understand how people can not be fond of ginger but I do have a couple living in my house. I try not to make the ginger version too often as I am likely to scoff the lot in a couple of days and that is not an action that fits into my everything in moderation philosophy.
The date molasses can be substituted with golden syrup or apple syrup – I prefer the tart apple syrup in this slice as it helps reduce the sweetness.This slice can be cut into smaller slices if wished. I cut the slice into 36 pieces to help it last longer than one day (four hungry teenagers (one of which won’t eat this slice because it has nuts and dates in it, never mind the fact it contains dairy) and treats like this have to be rationed.
The hazelnuts add a nice textural crunch and compliment both the dates & chocolate. I don’t skin the hazelnuts as they have a slight bitterness that helps temper the sweetness of the slice. I have a couple of hazelnut trees in the front garden and this year the harvest was sufficient for me to do something with. There may have been enough last year too but I thought the nuts were ready in June, by that time they were long dropped and covered with leaves and bark. I have had fun playing around with hazelnuts and Frangelico (stay tuned for my Banana Chocolate Toasted Hazelnut & Frangelico Loaf Cake). I have entered this recipe into the We Should Cocoa long-running blog challenge.