These are so delicious I even had them at our wedding!
n.b. I've already reduced the sugar to 3/4 of the original recipe!
2 cups chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup boiling water
200g finely diced butter at room temperature (you could also try coconut oil)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, pod discarded
1 1/2 cups rapadura sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour or gluten free flour such as Bob's Red Mill GF Baking Mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
250g cacao melts (www.changinghabits.com.au) or dark chocolate broken into small chunks (optional, they are absolutely tasty without :)
In a bowl place dates, baking soda, boiling water and butter. Stir until butter is melted and then stand for 20mins.
Preheat oven to 160 celsius (fan-forced), 170 (no fan).
Line 30cm x 24cm baking tin with baking paper or grease with butter/coconut oil.
Mash dates with a fork or place in food processor until creamy consistency.
Add eggs and vanilla and stir until well combined.
Add sugar, cacao powder, flour and baking powder and stir until combined.
Finally add the cacao melts or chocolate.
Pour into baking tray and bake for 35-45 mins until it is set in the middle.
Let it rest for 5 mins, then transfer to cooling rack. Once cooled, cut into squares and store in a sealed container for up to 1 week or freeze for future decadence!
Source: adapted from Annabel Langbein, 'From the Larder'.