Somewhere between a cup cake, a macaroon, a meringue and a chewy marshmallow lie these perfect little chewy cakes. I used pistachio in them but they work equally well with almonds or hazelnuts. The chocolate and dates become a chooey gooey mass and the nuts add loads of crunch, the recipe does call for chocolate and sugar. You can replace the sugar for honey, and if you are worried about the calories, you could swop out your dark chocolate with a high cocoa content so it has less fats, or you could just add a little less chocolate and add a little more dates and nuts to make up the lost weight.
Pistachio, Chocolate & Date Macaroons
3 large free range egg whites, room temperature
60gms caster sugar (35gms clear honey)
125g roughly chopped nuts (pistachio/hazelnut/almond)
125g good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
125g fresh medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
Start by preheating the oven to 165°C, preferably no fan. Spray a 12 tin standard size muffin tin with non stick spray and sprinkle a little caster sugar into each cup. Now, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form, now sieve the castor sugar in and whisk till thick and glossy. You can use a machine for all of this, but I do it in 5 minutes with a good quality balloon whisk. If you are using honey, make sure your egg whites are room temperature and that your honey is very runny, otherwise the sugars will not distribute evenly. DO NOT HEAT THE HONEY to make it runny and then add it still slightly warm to the egg white it will affect your chewy outcome.
Now fold the chopped nuts, dates and chocolate into the mixture. Spoon it into the cupcakes and bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Then switch off the heat and open the oven door slightly, after 10-minutes remove the tray and then allow the cakes to cool for a further 15-minutes before attempting to remove them.
Eat them just as is, or serve topped with greek yoghurt for dessert.