When I first wanted to learn to bake my mother handed me a wooden spoon and a bowl and told me to cream the butter and sugar by hand. As you can imagine, or those of you in the same age group as me will remember, this took a lot of effort. It is no wonder then that some people literally threw in the towel once they found out how much effort was required to make a cake. Today we just chuck the butter and sugar in to a mixer or food processor and away we go; a couple of minutes later perfectly creamed butter and sugar. Although, at times, I may reminisce about the good old days I certainly don’t miss mixing butter and sugar by hand. This recipe for sticky date pudding is a perfect one for making the cake batter in a food processor, but if you feel the need for a little exercise feel free to mix the old fashioned way.
There is some debate over where sticky date pudding originated; some say Scotland and some say England. Well whoever invented it deserves a great round of applause as this is one recipe that has stood the test of time. It has been called ‘old fashioned’, but really what does that mean? Trends come and go and it appears that this is one dessert that constantly makes its way back onto the menu. If you want to take a little of that old fashioned edge away make it in individual servings, for example try serving it straight from a ramekin with caramel sauce oozing down the side or you could unmould it onto a plate with a pool of glorious golden caramel sauce; either way, your guests will love you for it.
Sticky date pudding is usually served with a butterscotch sauce, however I prefer to serve mine with a caramel sauce. If you have never made a caramel sauce before and are a little bit daunted to be playing with hot sugar refer to my tutorial here or you can substitute for a butterscotch sauce.
- 100gm (3.5oz) dates, chopped
- 125ml (4.2fl oz) boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 50gm (1.8oz) butter
- 70gm (2.5oz) brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 75gm (2.7oz) self raising flour.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F). Melt some butter and brush inside 4 small ramekins. Use flour to completely dust the insides of the ramekins, tap out any excess. This will stop the puddings from sticking and make unmoulding desserts easier.
- Place chopped dates, boiling water and baking soda in a heat proof bowl. Stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Place the date mixture, butter and brown sugar in food processer and blitz for a couple of minutes.
- Lightly whisk egg and add to the date mixture. Blitz again for a minute or until combined.
- Add flour and blitz until fully combined.
- Pour the mixture evenly between ramekins.
- Place ramekins on a tray and bake for 25-30 minutes @ 180°C (356°F) or until a skewer comes out clean when testing.
- If you are serving in the ramekin, cut out a hole in the centre and pour in caramel sauce or unmould the pudding, plate and pour over caramel sauce.
Note: Refer to my tutorial here on how to make caramel sauce
- 125gm (4.4oz) white sugar
- 200ml (6.8fl oz) cream
- 25gm (0.9oz) unsalted butter
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and remove seeds.
- Place sugar in a heap on one side of a large saucepan. On a medium heat allow sugar to melt. (See tutorial for this process.)
- Once sugar has completely melted to a light amber colour add half the cream and stir. Note: The sugar mix will boil up and steam furiously so keep your face away from the saucepan when adding cream.
- Add the remaining cream, butter, vanilla pod and seeds. Stir for approx. 3-4 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and fully combined.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the vanilla pod before serving.
- Pour over puddings and serve.