23 May 2013

Sticky Date Pudding w/ Caramel Sauce

Who doesn’t like sticky date? Aside from my sister (I maintain she’s not human), I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t go mad for the stuff. I’m sure every dessert-fond person out there has a favourite, be it Great Aunt Helen’s or frozen Sara Lee. I have a few personal favourites. One is from the CWA Esk Valley Cookbook, another is from the Cadbury Cookbook (chocolate in Sticky Date? Ah, yes please!) and this one is from ‘A Cook’s Book of Decadence: Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel’ which was a birthday gift a few years ago. Its the caramel that does it for me with these. Its thicker than your average, and far more gooey and delightful to eat.

I’ve only recently revisited it over Christmas as it’s been living at home rather than in Sydney with me. I made this version as individual cakes using a muffin tin for a bit of variation.
  • 370g pitted dates, chopped
  • 440ml water
  • 1 ½ tsp. bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger (you can use fresh or ground)
  • 90g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  •  1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp. mixed spice
Preheat oven to 180C and line either a 23cm round cake tin (a deep one) or 2 x 12 hole muffin trays. Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce slightly, the remove from heat. Add bicarb and ginger, mixing gently to combine. Rest for 5 minutes. IT should be making a lovely bubbly sound and foaming up a little.
Cream butter and sugar. Once pale and creamy, add eggs one at a time. Fold in sifted flour and spice. Add date mixture, and combine gently. Pour into the cake tin, or spoon into muffin tray. Fill each hole in the tray right up as it doesn’t rise too much.
Bake for 1 hour if using a cake tin and 30 minutes if using the muffin tray. They’re cooked when a skewer comes out clean (which I recommend doing particularly with the muffins as it’s a little trial-and-error). Remove from trays, and either serve immediately or let cool before storing in the fridge. They can be reheated easily in the microwave.

Now you’re probably wondering where the sauce is…
  • 150g butter, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • ¾ cup thickened cream 
Whisk ingredients in a large saucepan over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes (whisking constantly to ensure it’s smooth and doesn’t burn).
Drizzle ridiculous amounts over warm puddings and top with crème fraiche and/or vanilla ice cream. If not serving immediately store it in a jar in the fridge and spoon over puddings and heat them together in the microwave. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the finished product. But it was fantastic! You can ask my mum if you want...