Choco-Date Cranberry Bars

Raksha Bandhan signifies sibling love and care and like all Indian festivals is accompanied by sweet goodies and desserts. Sisters tie bands around their brothers’ wrists and these bands are called Rakhis.
I made some  baby  Gulab Jamuns  to celebrate the occasion. These are mini balls of cottage cheese and khoya, soaked in sugar syrup.  Find the recipe for gulab jamuns here. These are just a baby version of the large ones. I like them better as they get done in a jiffy as they are quicker to fry and soak syrup much faster- a veritable blessing during the extended cooking hours on festive occasions.
I also baked these sinful gooey Choco-date cranberry bars topped with chocolate ganache. Well, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, is there!

Choco-date Cranberry Bars

All Purpose Flour/Maida- 1 ½  Cup+1 Tsp (for dusting the fruit and nut mixture)
Cocoa powder- ½ cup
Baking Powder- 2 tsp
Eggs, at room temperature- 2
Powdered sugar- 1 Cup
Oil/Butter, room temperature- 160 grams
Vanilla extract- 2 Tsp
Dates and cranberries, chopped roughly- 1 cup
Milk, at room temperature- ½ cup (use only if needed)

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Preheat the oven to 180 degree C and prepare a cake tin by lining and greasing. I always line my pan for ease of removing the cakes from the pan, specially the nutty ones.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder thrice and set aside.
Mix the cranberries and dates and sprinkle a tsp of APF/Maida and mix well coating them. This will ensure that they do not sink to the bottom on baking.
Take sugar and oil/butter in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric beater till light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and beat till well incorporated
Add in the vanilla essence and mix once.
Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula.
If the batter is too thick, add some milk. I needed to add about ½ cup. We need a thick dropping consistency batter.
Gently fold in the dates and cranberries.
Bake on 180C for 30- 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Oven temperatures vary, so please check after 30 minutes.

I topped it with chocolate ganache and some grated chocolate and silver balls.

Chocolate Ganache 
The recipe is from here

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream (I used malai and it worked beautifully)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Amul)

Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, set aside.
Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
Add butter and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly before using.

Spread over the cake. Top with grated chocolate and sugar balls or simply dust with some powdered sugar.

Slice into bars or squares and serve. Microwave them for about 20 seconds just before serving for a heavenly gooey chocolate burst on the palate 😀

I am taking this Gooey Goodness to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Thank you so much Margot and Saucy for co-hosting the wonderful event again this week ❤


28 thoughts on “Choco-Date Cranberry Bars

  1. No, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, especially in yummy chocolate-date-cranberry bars with chocolate ganache! How lovely that you’ve brought them to Fiesta Friday this week! 🙂

      1. My cake is in the oven, seems to be rising well and the batter tasted good too.. however, the cake has developed cracks 😦 what have I done incorrect??

      2. Hi Jaya
        Sometimes cracks develop because of oven temp as oven’s vary in their behaviour. Having said that, I also get cracked tops sometimes. What I do is, slice a little off the top and douse in ganache 😉

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