The deglet noor is North Africa’s other grand dame date, alongside the medjool, a native of the oases of Tunisia and Algeria.
This see-through date is also known as “the translucent;” in Arabic, noor means light. Not long ago, at a long, lazy lunch, I enjoyed delicious North African—inspired date and prune torte enrobed in smooth chocolate, not unlike this one.
Chocolate Date Torte
4 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Scant ½ cup (85 grams / 3 ounces) light brown sugar
175 grams (6 ounces) hazelnuts or almonds
120 grams (4 ½ ounces) dates, roughly chopped
100 grams (4 ounces) plain chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (345 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease and line a 22-centimeter (9-inch) springform cake pan.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla extract in a small bowl until light and creamy. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Add half the sugar and whisk until pale and stiff peaks form. In a food processor, whizz the nuts with the remaining sugar until crumb-like but not too fine.
Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg-yolk mixture into the whites. Add the nuts, fruit and chocolate, then fold together until combined.
Pour into the cake pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is set and pale golden. Turn the oven off and, with the door ajar, leave the torte to cool completely before removing.
Enjoy warm. A slice will reveal the fondant goodness within.
Adapted and reprinted with permission from Sun Bread and Sticky Toffee: Date Desserts From Everywhere
Interlink Books, 2013, interlinkbooks.com. Kate Whitaker
grew up in Kuwait and lives in London. She worked as an editor for Saqi Books and is the author of several cookbooks, including the award-winning Cardamom and Lime: Flavours from the Arabian Gulf
. She recently completed an MA in creative nonfiction at the University of East Anglia.