by Jenn on September 25, 2009

in Desserts,Gluten Free

My husband LOVES dates.  I mean, not just in a “oh there are some dates I think I’ll eat them” kind of way, but an “OMG dates!!! Dates!!! Must enjoy and eat them now!!” kind of way.  I think he loves dates about as much as I love strawberries.  They are absolutely his favorite fruit in the world, and we always keep some dates around the house.  It is a rare event when they last long enough that I can actually make anything with them, but the opportunity presented itself and I seized the chance to make a delicious Persian dessert out of wonderful dates.  It took a little convincing (“Yes honey, I promise the dates will taste even better once I transform them into this dessert!”) – ok, it didn’t really take convincing.  But I must commend him on his part for leaving the dates alone long enough for me to have enough to make this dessert.

I thought this dessert would be uniquely suited to being adapted for a gluten free diet, because unlike other desserts, there is no baking involved.  I have yet to have enough of a handle on the starch chemistry of gluten free flours to feel confident in really experimenting with baking.  But cooking?  No problem!  This is the only dessert I have seen where you actually pan fry the batter mixture rather than baking it – a very different technique than I am used to, but it worked really well, and the gluten free issue seemed to be not a problem.

One note about the original recipe – I was very confused because the recipe stated 1/2 cup (1/2 stick) of butter. A conventional size for a stick of butter (at least here in New England) is 1/2 cup.  Therefore, 1/2 cup could not also be 1/2 stick.  I asked my lovely friends on Twitter for their best interpretations, and most responses were to go with the volume measurement, which I ended up doing.  I think this was the right choice, as the consistency of the “batter” was like a paste, like the recipe said it should be.  I think only using 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) would not have been enough.

Just one warning, this dessert is extremely rich, so use small portions only.  It’s great as a small little indulgent treat that is so satisfyingly sweet, any sweet tooth will be instantly fixed by this recipe!