With Eid Al Adha just days away and with family and friends joining together to celebrate this festive occasion, I thought this would be a good time to post a decadent dessert cake with middle eastern flavors. Recently our cosy Words Bookstore and Café hosted a cookbook signing by Sarah Al-Hamad, author of Sun Bread and Sticky Toffee. Sarah gave a talk on how her cookbook evolved with her journey of date discoveries, which all began when eating a sticky toffee pudding. We sampled some delicious tasters, sticky date sponge with toffee sauce and a date and sesame espresso milkshake from her cookbook, which has sweet date recipes from everywhere. Continue reading “Chocolate Date Cake with Tahini and White Chocolate”
Everyone gets their own little cup for dunking some fresh fruit into this easy dessert sauce, made from date syrup, fresh coconut cream, flavoured with pandan leaf and vanilla! A sweet exotic sauce inspired by the cuisine of Bali, which use palm sugar, coconut and pandan leaf in many of their sweet and savoury dishes! Attending a cooking class some years back at Bumbu Bali and the many times we dinned at the restaurant gave me a deeper understanding of how authentic Balinese food is prepared and cooked using many wonderful aromatic spices!
Popular in the middle east where there is an abundance of date palms, date syrup is sweet without being overly cloying and can be used to replace other molasses wherever treacle and syrups are traditionally used… delicious drizzled over pancakes and waffles!
Brands of tinned coconut cream vary, some containing lots of additives, do check the label and buy the best quality you can find! If you are lucky enough to have a supermarket that grates fresh coconut (Lulu in Bahrain, saving you the trouble), why not make your own fresh coconut cream… which I will post with another recipe!
Infusing date syrup and coconut cream with pandan leaf releases its earthy fragrance (which needs heat or bruising), adding a subtle unique grassy flavour to this sweet sauce!
A sweet sauce that is easily adaptable by infusing the sauce with other spices, like star anise or cinnamon. Replace the coconut cream with fresh cream or simply serve this sweet sauce drizzled over some vanilla or mango ice cream for another quick dessert!
Sweet Date and Coconut Sauce with Fresh Fruit
- 125g date syrup
- 300g coconut cream
- 1 pandan leaf (screwpine), tied in a knot
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons rice flour or cornflour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (home-made) or store bought
- for garnish, freshly grated coconut ( or moisten dried coconut with a little coconut cream)
- for serving, fresh pineapple, banana and apple, cut into cubes (squeeze a little lemon juice over the cut fruit to keep its colour)
How to make: Pour the date syrup and coconut cream into a small saucepan, add the pandan leaf. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in the rice or cornflour mixture and cook for about two minutes, remove from heat and discard the pandan leaf. Stir in the vanilla extract and let the sauce cool before storing in the refrigerator.
To serve: Pour the chilled sauce into small cups or dishes and sprinkle over some fresh coconut, serve with freshly prepared fruit! Serves 6.