Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch
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.

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch
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.

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

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.
Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

Yield: 24


  • Base:
  • 150 g butter
  • 40g (2 T) date molasses, apple syrup or golden syrup
  • 150g (¾ cup) brown sugar
  • 60g (¾ cup) coconut
  • 160g (1 ½ cups) traditional wholegrain rolled oats
  • 110g (¾ cup) wholemeal flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t mixed spice
  • 120g (1 cup) unsalted hazelnuts, toasted & roughly chopped
  • Chocolate Date Topping:
  • 130g (1 cup) dried dates
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 180º C.
  • Grease & line a 18x25 cm slice tin with baking paper.
  • Place butter, date molasses and brown sugar together in a large pot. Heat gently until the butter is melted then bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
  • Mix in the other base ingredients then press into prepared slice tin.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until golden.
  • While the base is cooking, chop dates roughly then place in a small pot with the water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the dates are softened and the water evaporates (about 5-7 minutes). Place warm dates into the blender along with the chocolate. Process until the chocolate is melted and the dates are pureéd. Add the icing sugar and pulse until combined. Spread onto warm slice. Once cold cut the slice into 24 pieces.
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7 thoughts on “Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

  1. Can’t remember quite what I said before, but I feel rather miffed I never got to have ginger crunch during the two months we spent in Golden Bay! This looks really delicious and thanks for sharing with We Should Cocoa.

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