Sticky Date Pudding

Ben O'Donoghue

Ingredients:

Makes 12

  • 200g fresh or dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 150g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 170g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 185ml (3/4 cup) pouring (whipping) cream
  • 150g (3/4 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 50g butter

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 180ºC (350ºF)
  2. Put the dates, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water into a bowl and set aside. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat together for 2 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine, then add the flour, baking powder and date mixture
  3. Spoon the mixture into flexible silicon muffin trays and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and cooked through — when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, the puddings are done

Butterscotch Sauce

  1. Meanwhile, make the butterscotch sauce. Put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Continue to simmer for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve. Any leftover butterscotch sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week

This timeless recipe makes great individual little puddings that can be served as a dessert or can be frozen for lunch boxes at work or school. You can substitute dried figs instead of the dates if you like. Butterscotch sauce is the traditional accompaniment, but if you want a healthier alternative they taste just as nice with a dollop of plain yoghurt and fresh passionfruit.

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