Sweet, smoky, and just a bit spicy, these delectable bites are an elegantly enticing appetizer you'll want enjoy again and again. Fresh dates are available in many specialty markets from late summer to mid-fall, as well as year-round through a number of online retailers. Choose plump, soft dates with a smooth, shiny skin, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff each date with about 1 rounded teaspoon sausage. Place a piece of chocolate bar (about 1/4 of a square) in the center of the sausage; fold sausage around the chocolate and close the date. Wrap each date in half a piece of bacon. In a very large skillet, sear bacon-wrapped dates over medium heat until crispy, turning as necessary. Set aside.
In a deep baking dish (about 1-inch side walls) pour Spicy Chocolate Sauce about halfway up the sides of the dish. Transfer the seared dates to the baking dish, spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake dates in sauce for 25 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached, spooning sauce over dates occasionally. Transfer dates to a serving dish and serve sauce alongside. Garnish with cilantro and chocolate bar shavings, if desired.