Everything works in harmony in this recipe, from the olive oil that lightly caramelises the dates, which then pair perfectly with bitter dark chocolate and a pinch of flaky sea salt. I allow three dates per person.
large, pitted Medjool dates
dark chocolate, 80 per cent cocoa
fruity olive oil
flaky sea salt
Open each date where the stone was removed and fill with a piece of chocolate. Gently pinch the edges together to seal so the chocolate won’t leak out when heated.
Put a thin layer of olive oil and the dates in a sauté pan over a very low heat. Cook, turning the dates to lightly caramelise on all sides, about 1½ minutes. They will quickly burn if the heat is too high.
Place on a serving platter and drizzle over the oil from the pan. Leave for at least 10 minutes then top each one with a pinch of sea salt. Serve with crème fraîche for dolloping on top. Make as many as you need.
Cook's note: After putting the leftover dates in the fridge, I discovered I loved them as much chilled as warm.