Some days are for quick desserts . No matter how organised one is, there are days when a few balls do get dropped ; but that doesn’t mean once just frets and does nothing about it. Few simple ingredients in your pantry wouldn’t just be absolute saviours but also perfect mood-lifters. This no fuss, easy and refined sugar-free , no-bake recipe is one such treat. Set in a tray, it is the perfect dish to be carried along to any event or party and an absolutely gorgeous one at that!
And the best part? You can make it as little or as much indulgent as you would like and play with the ingredients to create your own unique flavour . For example , here I have used strawberry jam and fresh strawberries but you could use any other seasonal fruit like peach, stone fruit, figs (roasted or otherwise) or even mandarins.
Although I assembled it in a square tart tray so I could carry it easily to the party, you could also layer it in little parfait cups and serve . Refrigerating the nuts and dates base a good hour (or two) before pouring over the chocolate-cream layer is key. Then you would need to further refrigerate it for an hour before topping it with fresh strawberries or fruit of your choice, then cut a slice and indulge in the soft gooey melt in your mouth chocolate and berries heaven. To enhance the sweetness of the base, you could add some brown sugar and to play some more with flavours, use a mix of jams to layer, add some finely chopped mint and basil to give it a summery feel. Just have fun!
- Strawberry Jam- 1/3 cup
- Full fat whipped cream- 160 ml (2/3 cup)
- Unsalted butter- 25gm
- Dark (eating) chocolate ,chopped fine- 200 gm
- Strawberries, halved or quartered based on size - 6-8
- Medjool Dates or any other variety of dates softened- 10-12
- Almond meal-1.5 cups
- Cashews- A little more than 1/2 cup
- Vanilla- 1tsp
- Blitz the cashews in a high speed blender and keep aside
- Blitz the dates in a high speed blender, scraping sides in between.If using a different (harder) variety of dates, soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes to soften them up before blending
- Once the dates are pasty, add the cashew, almond meal, vanilla and blend for a few more seconds . If the mixture sticks to the side, take it out in a bowl and gently knead with your fingers
- Line a tart tray with a baking sheet or grease with some butter
- Evenly spread the above mixture in the tray, pressing and smoothing out gently making sure it it forms a uniform layer which isn’t too thin or it won’t hold the chocolate and cream layer well and then refrigerate for at least an hour, then spread the strawberry jam and refrigerate for another 20 minutes
- While the base is setting, bring a pot of water to boil and then place a slightly larger (but deep) pot on top. To this add cream and heat it. This indirect heating/ water bath technique makes sure one doesn’t overheat the cream
- Once the cream is hot, stir in butter and chocolate chips, then whisk until smooth
- Let it cool for 5-10 minutes then pour it evenly into the prepared refrigerated base
- Refrigerate for 2 hours , top it with strawberries and fresh fruit of choice to serve