Sticky date pudding was such a foreign thing to me. Not only am I not really a desert person, I also have never really eaten dates. Obviously I know what they are but they always remind me of old, constipated people… like prune juice. HOWEVER, the restaurant where I work serves the most delicious date pudding that you could easily mistake for a decedent, sticky Ginger Cake. After spending several evenings serving plate after plate of this to delighted customers, I just had to make some for myself. The scary part came when I began to research recipes. Most of them called for more butter, refined sugar and weird stuff than I eat in a year so, naturally, I got out some good things (and only a coule of naughty things) and had a bit of an experiment. The resulting recipe is packed full of fiber (why old people love it), uses healthy fats and sugars where possible and is bloody delicious!
For The Pudding
30g butter (naughty)
30g home made coconut butter (not naughty)
3/4 cup of coconut sugar (low GI index, all natural)
2 free range eggs
1 1/4 cups of pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
splash of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-raising, unbleached, wholemeal flour
cinnamon, ground ginger and mixed spice (to taste)
Method To The Madness
Preheat oven to 160C and line muffin tins with paper cases.
1.Roughly chop the dates. Place in food processor along with bicarb soda. Pour in the boiling water and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, coconut butter and coconut sugar over low heat. Take care not to burn the butter. After a few minutes, the hard sugar lumps will become malleable and can easily be beaten into the butter.
3. Once the mix resembles a thick, toffee coloured sauce, remove from heat and set aside to cool. This is important for step 4.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. If the sugar/butter mixture is still warm, the eggs will begin to cook… which is gross… just take my word for it.
5. Blitz the dates, bicarb and water in the food processor (on high for 2 minutes) to form a liquidy brown sludge, then add this to the butter/sugar/ eggs.
6. Fold in the flour, add the vanilla, ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon and beat to combine.
7. Spoon mixture into muffin cases and place in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place puddings on wire rack to cool or just eat steamy hot with a big dollop of cream or coconut butter!
This recipe yielded 12, muffin-sized, puddings which I served warm with fresh cream (naughty!), walnuts, apple slices and a VERY naughty home-made toffee sauce! While the uncooked mix tasted a little too sweet for me, the finished result was just right. All that moisture really brings out the sticky quality of these puddings and let me tell you, they are more delicious then I ever imagined. Even Rich was loving them and he was dead set on not liking any recipe involving dates. One of the best things I’ve made this year for sure.
Why not give it a go yourself and let me know how you got on?