Winter puddings are some of my favourite desserts. That and chocolate but I'm not always fussy. I have always been a fan of sticky date pudding and after a quick google I found Donna Hay's recipe and away I went. I always enjoy reading recipes to get some inspiration and ideas and Donna's recipe seemed simple and easy but I always like to add an element of personal touch. A restaurant I used to work in had a sticky date pudding on the menu which I enjoyed but it had a lot of butter in it so could be a date heavy and greasy at times. We also used to soak the dates in coffee, a twist I still like to do as it adds a little oomph to the dessert. Also in Donna's recipe she uses a food processor to combine the ingredients. This means the dates will be well incorporated into the dessert thus for a bit of texture I used some chopped walnuts for texture. If you're not a nut fan you could always hand chop half of the dates and fold these through the batter at the end instead of processing the whole amount.
So the recipe:
- 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
- 100g butter, chopped
- ¾ cup (135g) brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (150g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
- double (thick) cream
- 150g butter, chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
- 1 ½ cup (265g) brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180ºC (355ºF). Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place the date mixture in the bowl of a food processor with the butter and sugar and process until well combined. Add the eggs and flour and process until just combined. Pour into a lightly greased 26cm x 16cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
Bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Cut into squares.To make the toffee sauce, place butter, cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter is melted. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Spoon over puddings and top with cream. Serves 6
Enjoy with custard or ice-cream as you desire. Nom Nom!
Some notes from me:
- With the coffee soaking I just added a tablespoon of instant coffee to the boiling water. Alternatively just prepare some coffee as you desire and measure out a cup of it
- If your butter is straight from the fridge you may find that it will not quite blend as well as room temperature butter. This is not a bad thing as it will all come together with the addition of the flour and eggs but if you are worried at the look of it don't be, it is normal!
- I made individual puddings in ramekins and I buttered and floured the moulds to ensure they come out easily. You could also use muffin moulds as well to create individual puddings
- the puddings can be frozen if you only require a few or want to make a larger batch and have some more on hand