I discovered sticky date desserts (pudding, cupcakes, etc.) here in Australia so I felt it was necessary to add it to my baking repertoire before we leave. I figured it was best to learn these recipes here while I still have people to ask for advice if anything goes awry. Though I wasn't keen on baking with dates because they seem so sticky (read: messy), I liked the desserts enough to give it a try. Plus, dates are supposed to be healthy, right?
I quickly whipped up a sticky date pudding and brought it over to a friend's place for afternoon tea and everyone loved it. Everyone had seconds or thirds, and no one held back. That's how I knew this recipe was a keeper.
- 200g dates, pitted and chopped (about 11 Medjool dates)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 60g butter
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 100g brown sugar
- 100g butter
- 1 cup cream
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- Combine dates and water in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in bicarb soda and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add butter and sugar to date mixture, and stir it until the butter has melted. Blend mixture until smooth (using an immersion blender). Leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
- Beat the eggs into date mixture one at a time. Fold in the sifted flour. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes.
- While waiting for the pudding to bake, make caramel sauce by gently heating and stirring the butter, cream and sugar without boiling, for about 3 minutes.
- After 50 minutes, take the pudding out, pour half the caramel sauce all over the top and put the pudding back into the oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve the pudding warm, with the remaining caramel sauce and cream.
Dates are not as messy to work with as I thought.
I like my caramel sauce a little thicker, so after pouring half onto the pudding, I cook the rest for a little longer.
You can also make this recipe without all the added sugar, if that's your thing.