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Author Notes: Recently, I found myself with a dinner party to plan and I wanted to serve a dessert that felt decadent but was still vegan. I had a brain wave and decide to stuff our household favorite, dates, with macadamia nut "ricotta." To make the flavor more complex, I added some aromatics that you typically find in Indian sweets - cardamom, rose water, and cinnamon. The dessert has all the exotic taste I actually enjoy in Indian desserts without the cloying sweetness that totally turns me off. And my guests loved it.
Ingredient notes: You will make more macadamia nut ricotta than you need for this recipe. Use the remainder to top meatballs, or to stuff peppers. Rose water can be found in Indian markets or online. As the name suggests it has an incredible floral quality and a little goes a long way! —Shveta Berry
Macadamia Nut Ricotta
- 2 cups raw macadamia nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup macadamia nut ricotta
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 15-18 dates
- In a food processor or a high powered blender, purée the macadamia nut ricotta ingredients together until smooth. If necessary, scrape down the sides with a spatula and/or add a bit more water. The resulting texture should resemble ricotta cheese.
- Mix together the honey and aromatics with 1/3 cup of macadamia nut "ricotta."
- Slit each date down one side and remove the seed. Using a small teaspoon, fill each date with about 1/2 - 1 tbl of the spiced faux ricotta filling.