Not so very long ago in a land not at all far away (might have been this very chair, in fact), I came across this recipe on Hotly Spiced, an always-amusing food blog. Charlie is a great story teller, so I find myself popping over a couple of times a week to see what recipes she has up her sleeve and what story she has woven around it.
On this particular day I was suffering a surplus of egg whites on account of the lemon curd and ice cream I had recently made. The single paltry egg white I used for the meringe in that recipe wasn't quite enough to balance out the yolks so I had seven sitting in the fridge, thinking about what they would become (macarons were a vauge possiblity, but I'm still a bit scared of them). So when I stumbled across the recipe Charlie had posted for date and chocolate torte it was like a sign from above. It's from the Vogue Australia Wine and Food Cookbook... 1985! AND it's gluten free.
Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Roughly chop 250g of each of dark cooking chocolate, dates, and almonds (skin still on). I used the stick mixer's food processor and found that the chocolate became jammed on the side of the bowl so you could really only chop one row at a time. Quite frustrating! You'll also need to hold it with two hands because once it starts chopping it kind of tap-dances on the bench.
Whip 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form and gradually add castor sugar, beating until it dissolves/disperses. Fold in almonds, chocolate and dates (I did this in a couple of batches so as to not completely flatten the meringue mixture).
Spread in tin and bake for 45 minutes.
Switch off oven, open oven door slightly and allow to cool in tin. If you're not me, once it's cool, turn onto platter, cover and refrigerate overnight.
If you are me, cool for about half an hour then carefully remove from the tin while it's still kind of warm and melty.
Serve it up with a round of double cream and some granny smith apple slithers (I like the tartness to balance the sweetness of the chocolate and dates; I imagine strawberries or raspberries or perhaps even nectarines would also work well).
Thanks for the recipe, Charlie!
PS - I did the maths and it has 338cal per serving (1/12th of the torte), without the cream. Not too bad considering its extreme deliciousness!