Tag Archives: dates

Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Dates

4 Mar

This past Christmas a good friend of ours brought us some dates back from his recent trip to Algeria.  I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I thanked him and then proceeded to hide them away at the back of my baking cupboard.  I’ve had a thing against dates that goes back to childhood.  My mother and grandmother would always sneak them into various sweets and desserts or try and get me to eat them straight-up.  It was torture.  Just the look of those dark brown sticky LARGE looking raisins really made my stomach turn.

But I’m happy to announce that at 39 years old I’ve finally matured and realised that dates aren’t all that bad actually.  I’m still not interested in eating them straight-up but can admit that added to certain dishes they can really enhance the taste and texture (including a mind-blowing Lamb and Date Tagine we ate in Morocco).


So a few weeks ago I dug in the back of my baking cupboard and got out the box of Algerian dates.  I decided I wanted to try to make a fudge chocolate cake and thought the dates could be a perfect way to intensify the flavour (and make it a little bit healthier?).  And the result was delicious.  And keeping with family tradition I did not tell my kids the secret ingredient in the chocolate cake they were so happily enjoying.

This recipe seems quite fussy with all of the different steps and bowls that have to be used but it really is quick to make and so worth it.  The addition of cinnamon with the chocolate and dates makes it a really deep and rich cake.  I’ve proclaimed my love of the chocolate and cinnamon combination here in the past when I made these Chocolate and Fresh Cherry Cakes with Cinnamon.

Read on for recipe… Continue reading


Bobo Balls

9 Jan


I’m feeling super proud of myself at the moment.  For the second time this week I got myself out of the house by 7:45am in the dark and freezing cold to my pilates class.  From when I got up at 6:45am until I left it was an on-going mental battle for me.  One little voice was telling me to just stay home in my warm house and the other little voice was trying to motivate me out of the house.  Luckily the latter won.

Today I have a secret family recipe to share with you.  I had wanted to post it before the holidays but didn’t manage.  So I’ll sell them as the perfect Valentine’s Day cookie instead of Christmas cookie.

These little balls made with only 4 ingredients are one of my favourite treats from childhood.  My grandmother used to make these for my brother and I and we would be able to scoff down more than a few.   I was 23 when my grandmother actually told me the ingredient list because she knows that I would’ve been horrified if I knew there were dates in them.  I was tricked for 23 years of my life.


Usually I’m not a huge fan of cookies that involve breakfast cereal but in this case the rice crispies add crunch that compliments the chewy dates.   I know they sound weird and slightly kitschy but trust me on this one…they’re incredibly tasty.  And as a bonus they are no-bake which means it takes minutes to whip up a batch of these.

Gramma’s BoBo Balls

1/2 cup  butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pitted and chopped dates
3 1/2 cups Rice Crispies cereal

1. Melt butter in pot, add brown sugar and dates.

2. Bring to a boil, lower heat, stir and cook until smooth (8-10 min).

3. Add rice crispies.

4. With buttered hands form into uniform sized balls (approx. 2-bite sized).  Roll in white sugar.

5. Store in air-tight container to keep crispy. Enjoy!

1-IMG_4933-001I hope someone out there gives these cookies a chance and tries them out.  And if you do, please let me know what you think.  I have three kids who all love them (one being Miss Fussy) and I have followed my grandmother’s tradition of not letting them in on the secret of the dates in them.

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