Baking: Sweet

Koekedoor date crescents with orange dipping sauce and nut “dukkah”

These crescent shaped, date filled biscuits were baked for legendary Afrikaans singer Anneli van Rooyen in episode 1 of Koekoor 2. Dates, oranges, cinnamon and apricots are the dominating tastes in these croissant shaped biscuits. The leftover syrup serves as a dipping sauce. For extra deliciousness, also dip the biscuits in the nut and chocolate leftover “dukkah” and serve with fresh figs.


For the dough

250 g cake flour, sifted
60 ml castor sugar
2 ml salt
180 g ice cold butter
2 drops orange essence
60 – 80 ml ice water
Zest of a lemon
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

For the egg wash

1 egg
5 ml cold water

For the filling

Melted apricot jam
Date mousse
180 g nuts, crushed
60 g milk chocolate, chopped

For the date mousse and orange syrup

20 pitted dates
750 ml rooibos tea
Juice and zest of an orange
Honey (optional)

Fresh figs for serving


1. Combine the flour, castor sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice.
2. Cut the butter in small blocks and add to the flour mix. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly in texture.
3. With the food processor running, add the lemon zest, orange essence and ice water. Switch off the blender as soon as a dough forms.
4. Divide the dough into 2, and form flat circles. Cover with clingwrap and rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
5. To make the date and orange syrup: Heat the dates, rooibos tea orange juice and zest in a pot to boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced to half. Break up the dates while the mixture is simmering. Set aside to cool.
6. Strain the mixture through a sieve, pressing the dates through with the back of a spoon.
7. You will need about 200 ml of the mousse/syrup. If the syrup is not thick enough, add some honey and reduce further. Set aside to cool.
8. To make the crescents, preheat the oven to 180ºC and cover two baking sheets with baking paper.
9. Keeping half of the dough circle in the fridge, roll out the remaining dough to form a thin circle.
10. Cover sparsely with apricot jam, then some of the cooled date mousse/ syrup.
11. Mix the nuts and chocolate and sprinkle a bit over the jam and dates. Cover with wax paper and press the nuts and chocolate onto the dough.
12. Remove the paper and cut the dough, pizza style into 12 slices. Make a 1 cm indentation on the widest side of each slice. Stretch each slice of dough lightly before rolling up from the widest side. This helps to form a nice crescent shape.
13. Make the egg wash by beating the egg and water together and brush over each crescent. Set out 2, 5 cm apart on a baking sheet. Place in the fridge.
14. Repeat with the 2nd circle of dough. Place in the fridge until cold.
15. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Bake until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire cake rack.
16. Serve with lukewarm leftover date mousse and orange syrup, nut and chocolate dukkah and fresh figs.