And just like that, winter is almost over. It’s been the most glorious one I can remember, with gorgeous mild sunny days. But you didn’t think I could let winter slip away without sharing another recipe for sticky date pudding, did you? It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite dessert, but along with crème brulee and anything containing rhubarb, sticky date pudding is right up there on my list. With lashings of butterscotch sauce and some melty vanilla ice cream, it’s the most perfect treat on a winter’s night.
This recipe comes from Masterchef – remember the Pressure Test episode where no one was eliminated because all three puddings were so good? I can certainly attest to that! It is absolutely delicious, the my favourite out of the sticky date puddings I’ve posted here over the last few years, and actually has me wondering whether I’ll be able to top it next year! I’ll tell you next winter.
The puddings came together pretty quickly and easily. It might have been because I don’t have a super-oven like in the Masterchef kitchen, but these puddings took roughly double the time stated on the recipe to cook through. I also took them out of the water bath for the last 10 minutes of baking time. You could serve it with or without the almond praline but don’t skip the butterscotch sauce. I could drink the stuff, I’m not joking.
Sticky Date Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce and Almond Praline
Recipe from Masterchef
• 180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
• 1 ¼ cups water
• ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
• 60g butter, softened
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup self raising flour
• ½ cup caster sugar
• ¼ cup slivered almonds
• 50g butter
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Lightly grease 8 ½-cup capacity metal dariole moulds.
2. Place the dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and add bicarb soda and stir until the dates start to break down. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a bowl using a hand beater or stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add date mixture and stir to combine. Carefully fold through sifted flour and divide mixture evenly between the moulds, until 2/3 full.
5. Place moulds in a baking tray, carefully pour water in tray until it comes up 1/3 of the side of the moulds. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, for the almond praline, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat and cool caramel, without stirring, swirling pan until deep golden. Scatter almonds onto a baking paper lined oven tray. Pour caramel over and cool until set. Break into pieces.
7. For the butterscotch sauce, combine butter, sugar, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring sauce to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
8. To serve, invert the hot pudding onto a serving plate, top with butterscotch sauce and shards of praline.