The lowering thermostat and on-set of rain signals another Melbourne winter nearing; bringing with it my craving for a warm, yummy dessert. I don’t have a massive sweet tooth, but for sticky date pudding I’ll make an exception. This recipe was originally published in Super Food Ideas magazine; but I stumbled upon it at the taste.com.au website (I seem to be making a habit of trawling through that site… lol).
The recipe suggests that it serves 8, I decided to bake them in muffin/cupcake trays instead of the cake tin as some of the comments suggests, and the recipe yielded 12 medium sized muffins. I made some changes to the caramel sauce prep as well, after doing some research around the traps. ;-)
Sticky date puddings can sometimes be slightly heavy, but these were light and airy. Absolutely delicious with the caramel sauce and some ice cream!
Ingredients (Makes 12)
250g Pitted dates, chopped
1 Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 1/2 Cups boiling water
125g Butter, softened (just leave the butter out at room temperature for about 15 – 20 mins)
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 Cups Self-Raising Flour, sifted
1 Cup brown sugar
300ml Thickened cream (I gave the new Philly product a go. Worked great)
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease muffin tray.
- Put the dates and baking soda in a medium/large size bowl. Pour in the boiling water and let it stand for about 20 minutes.
- Beat sugar, vanilla and butter in a mixer (e.g. KitchenAid) until creamy. Then add eggs, one at a time; beating until well mixed each time.
- Fold in the date mixture from Step 2 as well as the flour, until the mixture is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the muffin tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until you can stick a skewer in and it comes out clean, depending on the strength of your oven. Let it cool slightly and take them out of the tray and place on cooling rack.
Before you make the caramel sauce, make sure you have all the ingredients measured out and ready to go. The heated sugar will get extremely hot and burn really easily so ensure you take the necessary precautions.
- To make the sauce, combine sugar and vanilla extract in a medium to large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn the heat on to medium-high. Once the sugar starts to melt, stir continuously with a whisk/wooden spoon. Stop stirring once the sugar comes to a boil.
- As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid should have a dark, amber colour), immediately add the butter to the pan. The caramel will foam up when you add the butter, whisk until the butter has melted.
Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.
- Wait 3 to 5 seconds, and slowly add the cream to the mixture and whisk vigorously to combine. The sauce will hiss and bubble loudly when you add the cream – I found it easier to add cream in increments (maybe a quarter of the amount at a time).
- When the sauce is smooth let it cool for a couple of minutes. You can prick the top of the puddings so that the sauce can drip in. Spoon the caramel sauce on top of the warm puddings and serve with some ice cream if you’d like.
- Note that you can make excess sauce and it will keep in a glass jar in your fridge for a few weeks. It will harden but you just warm it up when you want to use it. (I would recommend warming it the way you melt chocolate – in a water bath)