Many of us like to indulge in sweet treats. And what’s more indulgent than chocolate and caramel? Bring it on! But wait … what about a rich, gooey caramel that really isn’t caramel at all? Intrigued? Check out these Choco-Caramelicious Patties!
Raise your hand if you like to indulge in sweet treats. Ah, I thought so — that’s a lot of hands! And keep your hand raised if you’re thinking you should cut back on refined sugars. Mm-hmm, still quite a few hands up.
I’m with you. I have a sweet tooth. Sometimes I have it under good control, but other times it growls and pleads for satisfaction and can’t be ignored. Over the past couple of years I’ve reduced the amount of sugar I consume and feel better for it. But let’s get real, I still crave sweets from time to time. Although I don’t enjoy highly sweet treats the way I used to, nibbling (okay, scarfing down) a bar of fair trade organic dark chocolate doesn’t always hit the mark. So, what’s a gal with a craving for something decadent to do?
Exploring Less Refined Sweet Options
I’ve been exploring recipes that provide sweet goodness through ingredients like dates, honey, maple syrup and other good things that are more natural than the sparkling white sugar I used to consume with abandon. Treats that are less likely to toss me up on a sugar high and then cruelly let me crash down.
Treats like these choco-caramelicious patties. A rich chocolate shell enveloping a luscious, gooey-chewy caramel centre will definitely kick those cravings to the curb. Not only that, they’re so rich and satisfying that one at a time is enough. Okay, I might be persuaded to have two, but seriously, one really is enough.
Caramel-Not-Caramel and More
Wanna hear a secret? That caramel? It’s not really caramel. Instead, it’s dates processed with some nut butter, honey and other goodness.
The chocolate? I made it myself, because that’s the kind of kitchen puttering I like to do. I’ve added the instructions, but you could just melt some quality chocolate and use that instead.
A sprinkling of sea salt adds a sophisticated finish that brightens the flavour.
These chocolatey, caramelly patties are just the thing for when friends drop by. A cup of tea and one or two of these will fuel a good chat, don’t you agree?
Let’s Make Some Choco-Caramelicious Patties!
I was inspired by the “homemade yolos” in Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows cookbook and on her blog, here. That started me on a journey that also led me to Meghan Telpher’s homemade chocolate turtles. After playing around, the recipe I settled on for the “caramel” is almost the same as Meghan Telpher’s. And, I used her instructions for making the homemade chocolate coating. So, with thanks for the inspiration and information, let’s see how I made these treats.
- 4-1/2 ounces pitted Medjool dates (about 6–8, spending on size)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cacao powder (not cocoa powder)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- Sea salt for sprinkling
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a heavy-duty food processor or blender. (See Notes.) Process until smooth.
Place the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and roll and shape into a log about eight to ten inches long. Secure the ends of the paper with twist ties and place in the freezer.
While the caramelicious filling is chilling, prepare the homemade chocolate. Or, melt about 100 grams of the chocolate of your choice. I’d recommend a dark, bittersweet chocolate.
Put the three ingredients in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once the coconut oil starts to melt, stir until everything is smoothly mixed together.
You can shape these treats however you like, but I found it less fussy to make patties instead of rolling balls and dipping them in chocolate.
For patties, you can use silicone moulds or a small tart or muffin tray. I haven’t tried making these in petit fours liners, but I think that might work although I wonder about the paper sticking. Let me know if you’ve tried it. I used a small metal tart tray for the patties pictured in this post.
Lightly coat the tart cups with coconut oil. Spoon about a half tablespoon of the chocolate mixture onto the tart cup bottoms and set the tray in the freezer until the chocolate has set. This should happen in about ten minutes.
Remove the caramelicous filling “log” from the freezer and cut into 12 sections. If necessary flatten and shape each piece into a patty that fills most of the tart cup without touching the sides or extending over the top if your trays are shallow. Set atop the chocolate bottom. (If you have too much filling, roll the excess and dip into any leftover chocolate and chill.)
Spoon the remaining chocolate over the filling, ensuring its flows around the sides and covers the top of the caramel. Place the tray back in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened, at least half an hour. Then insert a knife at the edge to pop out the patties. You can sprinkle with a bit of sea salt now or just before serving. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.
- The Medjool dates that I use are large, soft and luscious. If yours are dry you may need to soak them in warm water for a few minutes to plump them up. I’ve also made this recipe with almond butter, with delicious results.
- To make this recipe vegan, just substitute a different sweetener for the honey, such as maple syrup or agave or coconut nectar.
- I suggest using heavy-duty equipment because I tried a few appliances that simply couldn’t handle the load of the dates.
Looking for More Sweet Treats?
There’s no lack of sweet treats here at Urban Cottage Life, and here are a few that make a fine snack or pick-me-up: Coconut Date Bites, Strawberry Marshmallows, and Chocolate Mousse, Avocado Style (that’s right, it’s vegan!).
First published 2015 02 28
Republished 2019 03 27
I am so happy you are talking about sugar . because it is not good for you but this receipe is so so everything I love , making that . as soon that I find the medjool dates and cocao.
What a wonderful response, Suzanne! I hope you enjoy this recipe. Sometimes when I want something sweet to eat, I have one of the Medjool dates — they really are like nature’s candy!
Medjool dates are hard to find in my area but worth seeking out…you patties look great.
Thanks Karen! I buy medjool dates at my favourite market and try to make sure I always have some in the cupboards. Other dates I’ve tried simply don’t compare with these. I wonder if it’s possible to find them online. I would think so! These patties really are easy and now of course ideas for variations are dancing in my head!
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This reminds me of a candy we used to buy when I was little. They called them Katydids I believe and this looks exactly like them. And these photos had me licking my lips looking at them as well lol. I just loved these Marlene.
Thanks so much, Kia! I’ve never heard of the Katydids candy before, but I’m guessing they probably weren’t made with dates! I’m glad this recipe brought back that childhood memory for you.
When I was in Jordan and Israel last fall, I was amazed at the farmers markets’ cheap “palm dates” and bought them by the pound! Nibbled on them all day!! And I see you use them in these wonderful recipes, so I can fully understand why you’ve gone bonkers about these sweets 🙂 There is something wonderfully sinful about those dates . . . . https://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-medjool-dates.htm
Oh, medjool dates were a revelation to me …. like candy! They’re a special treat indeed.
dates i love and the rest of the ingredients.just mouth watering……love it thanks Marlene….
I’m glad this recipe has such appeal for you, Suzanne. That date-based caramel is such a treat!