The Australian Women’s Weekly Food Magazine - - Snuggle Up Baking -

220g fresh dates, pit­ted,

chopped coarsely

½ cup (125ml) water

2 ta­ble­spoons caster sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon finely grated orange rind 1 tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract

1/3 cup (40g) wal­nuts, roasted,

finely chopped

100g but­ter, chopped

8 sheets filo pas­try (see cook’s notes) 100g dark choco­late (70 per cent

co­coa solids), finely chopped 1 tea­spoon veg­etable oil

1 Pre­heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Grease two oven trays; line with bak­ing pa­per.

2 Stir dates, the water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat for 2 min­utes or un­til sugar dis­solves. Bring to the boil, then re­duce heat to low; cook for 5 min­utes or un­til mix­ture is thick and most of the liq­uid has evap­o­rated. Cool for 5 min­utes.

3 Stir rind, ex­tract and wal­nuts into date mix­ture. Trans­fer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap; cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

4 Melt but­ter. Cut one sheet of pas­try in half width­ways; brush but­ter around edges. With a long edge fac­ing you, place 3 tea­spoons of fill­ing 1cm up from the long edge. Us­ing damp fin­gers, pinch the fill­ing out un­til 15cm long, leav­ing a bor­der at each short end. Loosely fold in the sides, then roll up the pas­try to form a cigar shape; brush with but­ter. Re­peat to make a total of 16 rolls.

5 Place on trays; bake for 15 min­utes or un­til golden. Cool on trays.

6 Place choco­late in a small heat­proof bowl over a small saucepan of sim­mer­ing water (don’t let water touch base of bowl); stir un­til smooth. Re­move bowl from pan, stir in oil; cool for 10 min­utes. Dip the cigar ends into melted choco­late; re­turn to trays. Spoon re­main­ing choco­late into a small zip­top bag; snip end and driz­zle choco­late over tops of filo cigars. Stand un­til set.

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