Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 8, 2009: Dates in cardamom coffee

Emily and her partner Sam were in Melbourne for just a few more days, and Yung graciously invited a few of us over for dinner to enjoy their company once more. She told us it'd be a low-key meal with a Moroccan theme; actually, we were utterly spoiled with dips, olives and smoked almonds, a vegetable tagine with couscous, beetroot salad and golden saganaki. For dessert there was fruit and cheese, and I brought along this little something to complement them. It's one of the first recipes I hit on while searching the internet for Moroccan dessert recipes - dates soaked in coffee that's been brewed with cardamom.

They take only ten minutes to prepare and they taste like the Moroccan Soup Bar. The recipe recommends serving the dates with a dollop of natural yoghurt but we just dug in with our fingers, napkins at the ready, and followed them up with cherries and mango cheeks. Either way, you're in for a sweet dark treat!

Dates in cardamom coffee
(from, article by Cecily Layzell)

400g dates
450mL strong black coffee
10 cardamom pods, roughly crushed (mine were a little old so I boosted them with 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1 heaped teaspoon sugar

Brew the coffee, adding the cardamom and sugar. Leave the mixture to steep for 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust the sweetness - keep in mind that the dates themselves are very sweet.

Slice the dates in half and remove the stones. Strain the coffee and pour it over the dates.

Cover and refrigerate the dessert for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop. I let it sit for about 60 hours!


  1. Cindy, they look fantastic! What a great idea. This might be a silly question - did you use dried dates?

  2. These look just gorgeous cindy - can't wait to try them out. We're kind of caffeine-free in our house at the moment so i'll try them out with our favourite decaf - i just love the flavours in this recipe and hope it still works out. thanks!

  3. What a lovely, simple idea Cindy. Thanks for posting these. I can imagine they're delicious.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! I'd serve them with mascarpone whipped cream. Yes please!

  5. Thanks Agnes! I actually used fresh dates, though I'm sure dried dates would also soak up the coffee nicely. :-)

    Frances, I hear ya - I rarely drink coffee and am rather caffeine-sensitive! Decaf could be a good option.

    Thanks, Kathryn! I could not believe my luck when this topped my google search - it's precisely the quick and simple gift I was after.

    Welcome, Christie! You're right, mascarpone would be perfect with these. :-)

  6. Yum, I love dates and these look superb. They'd be lovely with yoghurt or icecream too.