Monday, June 17, 2013

Sticky date Pudding

Dear Readers,

Winter is here in all it's glory in Sydney. I know I know being from Melbourne this shouldn't be too bad but I am close to the stage where once I am snuggled in my doona (duvet for my non Aussie friends) dressed in my flannel pjs, even getting up for a glass of water seems like an arduous task. But I love winters,  it's probably because I grew up in a tropical country in a city where the only climate is hot and humid. I love the cycle of seasons and the change in activity and pace it brings with it and how nature has a unique way of replenishing itself.

So what makes winter nights so special you ask? Hot cocoa, my special Baileys hot chocolate, crumbles and best of all gooey sticky date pudding smothered in toffee sauce with a dollop of cream - sends you straight to gooey pudding heaven. I have a secret to share with all of you, I never ate dates while I was in India, they reminded me of cockroaches too much for me to eat them.Only after I developed a serious case of anaemia when I moved to Melbourne and my mom advised me to eat two dates every day to boost my iron levels did I start eating dates and absolutely loved them. I seriously regretted not having eaten them all these years. I shared my dates-cockroach resemblance story to my hubby who then told me that he ate dates as a kid only because he thought they looked like cockroaches and thought it was so much fun because of that. Wow! So alike and yet so not alike!

Coming back to the pud, this recipe is fail proof, trust me I have made it in the most meticulous fashion and sometimes really carelessly it works every single time. I usually make sticky date puddings in muffin trays so that I have individual servings but you can make one large dish and cut it into slices like in the original recipe. Either way it's a really enjoyable dessert, perfect for those snuggly winter nights or days.


Recipe                                                                                               Print Recipe

(Adapted from Super food ideas July 2004, page 49 recipe by Dixie Elliott, found on taste)
yields 12

250-300 g Pitted dates -chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
11/2 cups of boiling water
125 g unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
13/4 cup Self Raising Flour - sifted

For the caramel/toffee sauce
1 cup brown sugar
300 ml thickened cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
60 g butter

Double cream or vanilla ice cream to serve with.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees C, fan forced). Lightly grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tray (you can choose to line them with muffin cases if you wish).

Put the dates and bicarb in a bowl and cover it with the boiling water, keep it aside for 20 minutes.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together till it's fluffy and pale. Now mix in the date mixture till well combined. Now gently fold through the sifted flour till everything is combined and you get a smooth lump free batter. 

Spoon the batter into the muffin tray and let it bake for 15-20 minutes till they are golden brown, well risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the puddings. 

Pierce the puddings with a skewer and drizzle the sauce over it generously. Best served warm with a dollop of double cream or vanilla ice cream. 


Note: The puddings and the sauce can be made a day or two ahead, they keep really well in anairtight container. The sauce can be reheated right before serving.

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