This was a bit of a surprise! I expected a soft, fruity log and got something more akin to a cooked caramel! I guess when you boil a sugar/honey mix for 15 minutes, you should expect that! It took me a while to get used to the idea of eating a caramelized date and nut log alongside my cheese, but that didn’t stop me from consuming rather more of it than I should have! It’s a novel addition to a cheese platter instead of the usual fruit jellies, jams or pastes and, I have to say, a particularly delicious one. Thanks to New Zealand’s New Idea ‘Christmas & Holiday Essentials’ magazine for the fab recipe.
DATE & PECAN LOG
Makes 2 logs
- 1 cup pecan nuts
- 2 cups firmly packed chopped dates (400g)
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1 Tbsp grated orange rind
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- Place nuts on an oven tray and cook in a moderate oven 180°C (360°F) for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove and cool. Roughly chop.
- Combine chopped dates, sugar, honey, orange rind and juice in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, over a medium low heat for 15 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the chopped nuts. Remove and stand for 10 minutes.
- Spoon half the date mixture onto a sheet of baking paper 40cm in length. Roll up and shape into a 25cm log (be careful – the mixture may still be very hot). Repeat process to make a second log. Refrigerate until firm.
- To serve, remove logs from fridge and bring to room temperature. Slice and arrange on a platter with cheeses, dried fruit, fresh fruit and crackers.