It feels like all we’ve done for the last two weeks is deal with sick kids and feel slightly rubbish ourselves. The tail end of winter has bought some nasty germs, but we’re hoping we’re through the last of it now. Bring on the sun – but first we thought we’d better get in quick with a winter classic and a pudding that has made Leigh famous (locally at least!). This sticky date pudding with caramel sauce was a dessert that Leigh prepared at a school camp a few years ago and the husbands on camp raved and raved….and still three months later were talking about the sticky date pudding!
So today we post the recipe that husbands most often request. This can be made with fresh or dried dates and is easily doubled for a large group – or school camp (triple to feed 30). This is a very forgiving recipe which can be made in advance and re-heated before serving (warm in the microwave to avoid drying out). While we’ve not tried to freeze it, we’re pretty confident that it will freeze well also.
A teaspoon of ginger added to the mixture is not enough to be overpowering, but adds a hint of flavour. It also has a tablespoon of cocoa, which gives a lovely dark colour to the pudding. Unlike some other date puddings we’ve tried, this recipe is super easy to put together, and is a no fail recipe (so far at least!). We like to serve with whipped cream or ice cream (or both!).
Just a note about dates. We think fresh dates elevate this pudding from delicious to sensational! However, it’s also a more expensive option, as fresh dates are expensive little things (in our part of the world anyway). So if you’re making this for the family, you may just want to use dried dates, but if you have guests, fresh dates are a good option to ‘glam’ it up. A third option could be to use half fresh and half dried dates, which we haven’t tried, but we’re sure would work too. Whichever dates you go with, we’re sure you’ll love this delicious little morsel!
Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce
250g diced dates
3/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup self-raising
1 tablespoon cocoa
250g brown sugar
250 ml cream
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm x 24cm dish (pyrex or tin). Combine the dates, water, ginger, and baking soda. Mix and set aside for 20 minutes. While you wait, cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each. Sieve over the flour and cocoa and fold into the egg and butter mix. Add the date mix and pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes or until springs back when gently pressed in the centre.
Combine the butter brown sugar and cream in saucepan and heat till sugar dissolves. Simmer the sauce for 5 min until it thickens. allow to cool for 5 min before serving.
Recipe adapted from ‘Food’ Magazine