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History Cookbook: Dates Alexandrine

This recipe is in categories Romano-British, Desserts, Party food, Snacks
About this recipe
Healthiness : (24 votes)
Difficulty:  1 out of 5 difficulty
Comments:
Blanching the almonds yourself can be tricky - it may be better to buy them already blanched.

Butter needs to be just melted. Take care when using, let it cool a little.

Also take care when cooking in the hot oven.

Otherwise this is a fun recipe to do and very tasty to eat.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes - plus skinning the almonds if you blanch them yourselves.
Cooking Time: 6-8 minutes
Number of servings: 4
Serving suggestions: The Romans would have had them on a plate and people would have helped themselves with their fingers!
This is a vegetarian recipe


Dates are a very ancient food and were common throughout the Middle East and North Africa. They are extremely nutritious.

Almonds are native to the West Asia, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Romans referred to them as "Greek nuts" because they first came across them in Greece. The Romans would have blanched them to get the skins off; today, of course, you can buy them already blanched, which makes this recipe much quicker and easier.

Cinammon was a spice much prized by the Romans and it was very expensive - it showed off your wealth to be generous with cinammon.

Honey, of course, was the universal sweetener as well as having medicinal properties.
Ingredients
  • 16 whole dates
  • 16 whole almonds (or blanched almonds)
  • 20 gm butter
  • cinnamon
  • runny honey
Equipment
  • Bowl
  • Strainer
  • Knife
  • Small dish
  • Heatproof dish
  • Spoon or brush
  • Wire tray
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. If you are blanching the almonds yourself, put them in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Wait for a few minutes and strain the almonds. Peel the skin off
  2. Warm the butter in a pan until it is just melted, take from the heat
  3. Cut the dates carefully (the knife does not need to be very sharp) and take out the stone
  4. Put some cinnamon in a small dish or saucer
  5. Take each almond, dunk it in the butter, roll it in the cinammon and put into the opening of the date
  6. Put the dates on to a heatproof dish or plate
  7. Coat each date with honey - using a brush or pouring with a small spoon
  8. Pour over the rest of the butter
  9. Bake in a hot oven for 6-8 minutes
  10. Allow to cool a little before eating - they could burn your fingers or tongue!

Dates Alexandrine - print view  Dates Alexandrine - print view

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Comments
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Name: Georgia Howard 2nd June 2016
This is really amazing how you found this Ancient Roman desert
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