Dates and Coffee Milkshake

During summers, you crave cool and refreshing drinks. If that craving is satisfied with a feel-good ingredient combination like dates and coffee, it gives you an upbeat mood. The best part is that you can spin off a milkshake in less than 15 mins, and it does not feel like a lot of work. During one of my visits to Mustafa, I stopped at the dates section and was amazed at the variety they had in stock. I decided instantly that I wanted to use them in some form of drink or dessert. For this Dates and Coffee milkshake, I have used Khudary dates from Mustafa. They ended up being a perfect pick for this aromatic and amazingly refreshing drink.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 2 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 12 de-seeded dates (6 dates per glass)
  • 1.5 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 330 ml milk

Dates and coffee milkshake

Dates and coffee milkshake


Method:

  • Split the cardamom pods and powder the seeds using a mortar and pestle. Freshly pounded cardamom is better since that imparts a pleasant aroma in the drink.
  • Put the cardamom seeds, de-seeded dates, coffee powder, milk and ice cubes into the blender and blend it till the dates and ice have broken down into a smooth drinkable texture. The blending process should take maximum 2 minutes.
  • Dates and coffee milkshake

    Dates and coffee milkshake

  • Serve immediately. This drink can also be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. In that case, before serving, stir the drink well to redistribute the dates.

Tips:

  • For those who don’t like caffeine, you can substitute coffee powder with hot chocolate powder. I have tried a version of this drink using Hershey’s Hot Chocolate and its equally amazing and refreshing.
  • You can also soak your dates in warm milk before you put them in the blender for 10-15 mins. This is an optional step in case you want a very soft texture.
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Green Apple and Pear Drizzled with Chocolate with Date Caramel Sauce Plus Blogversary

When I started out exactly a year ago, I had never imagined I would complete one year of food blogging. I was apprehensive about my writing frequency and the variety that I could bring to my blog. Today, I feel satisfied to have conquered all those apprehensions with deelight by writing at my own pace and loving what I choose as the topic whenever I post. In this journey, I have come across and learned from so many amazing food bloggers. I thank each and every one of you for the continued encouragement through your likes and comments. Every little gesture of yours was, is and will remain valued. Last but not the least, my family and friends have always motivated me and continue to support me endlessly. To every person who reads this blog – a big THANK YOU is in order as each of you makes this blogversary special!!!
When I thought about the recipe that I wanted to feature as my blogversary post, I knew it had to be simple and sweet. Its going to be a simple dessert made of fruits drizzled with chocolate and served with an amazing dip. The simplicity of the recipe makes it easily doable but when you have a bite of the fruit in this combination, it is heavenly! I started this recipe like an artist was painting a canvas – assembled my structures, splashed my colour and signed off in style 🙂 I was surprised at what I achieved in not more than 15 mins but it satisfied the sweet urge that I felt after dinner. Hope you all like this too!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients for serving: :

  • 2 medium green apples, cut in crescents
  • 1 pear, cut in crescents (optional)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Green apples and pears

Green apples and pears

  • Cut the green apples and pear into crescents and keep them on a plate. I was just feeling creative and started placing it in a scenic manner.
  • Combine the chocolate chips and almond milk in a small bowl and microwave it for maximum 40 seconds till the chocolate melts. Remove it and whisk until smooth. The melting process can also done on low flame on a stove.
  • Drizzle the chocolate using a nozzle on the fruits. I have not used a nozzle, hence my drizzling is all over the place – just ensure that there is a bit of sauce on all the fruit slices.
  • Green apples and pears with date caramel sauce

    Green apples and pears with date caramel sauce

  • Now for the date caramel sauce: Take the pitted dates and soak them in a bowl of boiling water for 10 mins. Now combine the dates with almond milk and blend them together in a food processor for about one minute. Take the dip out in a serving bowl. I also tasted this dip with pancakes and it was delicious. I call it caramel sauce only because of the colour it turned into 🙂
  • I signed off in style as D.V. (Deelightfully Veg)!!

  • Tips :

    • Red apples can be used, but preferably they should not be over sweet.

Chocolate and Date Lollipops

Some goodies take you right back to your childhood. When I was planning for a picnic party, I knew that I wanted to have lollipops in the dessert course. The very idea of eagerly opening the lollipop wrapper and tasting it thrilled me. I also happened to have a nice box of dates lying around and I decided to use it as as the base. I added chocolate and walnuts for taste and texture. The lollipops turned out to be delicious with none of the main ingredients overpowering each other. This is bound to be a hit with both adults and kids.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 lollipops
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 seedless dates
  • 8 whole walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts crushed (optional)

Chocolate and date lollipops

Chocolate and date lollipops


Method:

  • In a mixer, pulse the dates, walnuts and vanilla extract to form a soft dough. Do not add any other liquid to this mixture.
  • Take some of this mixture in your hands and gently roll into a ball.
  • Once you are done rolling the entire mixture, place the lollipops in the fridge for some time to firm up.
  • In the meantime, take the chocolate chips in a bowl and heat them in the microwave for 75 secs. These 75 secs should be in steps of 30 secs, 30 secs and 15 secs. Stir the mixture using a small spoon in every step and ensure that the chocolate has completely melted. There should not be any chunks. Let it rest for 5 mins.
  • Roll the lollipops in the melted chocolate. If you find this hard to do, you can use a basting brush instead. For this, dip the brush in the melted chocolate and coat the lollipops evenly. This gives an even finish and does not smudge the chocolate.
  • When the chocolate coating is still wet, gently sprinkle or roll the lollipop to the finely crushed hazelnut.
  • Keep the newly coated lollipops on absorbing paper and solidify in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  • To serve, remove from the fridge and skewer them. I wrapped them using cling wrap and tied them with an attractive coloured ribbon. If refrigerated, they can be stored for 4-5 days.

Tips :

  • While making the date-walnut dough, use the pulse setting.
  • Between pulses, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • If you find the mixture is too sticky to work with, add more walnuts and process or store in the fridge for a few minutes before rolling.
  • Be careful while melting the chocolate. Mixing the chocolate between the heating phases helps to create a smoothly melting chocolate.