Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sticky Date Pudding drizzled with Butterscotch Sauce

It's simple pleasures that make life worth living. A thick slice of indulgent sticky date pudding drizzled with sweet butterscotch glaze is the perfect ending to any meal. Sweet treats are something I have come to look forward to increasingly, especially during Adelaide's cold, wintry months - the lack of heating facilities in most homes insufficient. A cup of strong, hot coffee and a plate of steaming pudding or cake sliced straight out of the oven is best enjoyed in bed, feet toasty and snugly under the covers, it seems too good to be true!

Dates contain a high amount of natural sugar that make them a healthy energy source. The dates combined with a modest amount of brown sugar make for a pudding that is subtly sweet, therefore I highly recommend serving it with the butterscotch sauce as it lifts the dessert adding a rich, velvety sweet lusciousness, as well as moistening the pudding that can be a tad bit dense if eaten alone.

Serves 4
Active time: 20 mins
Total time: I hour

Ingredients: 150 g pitted, finely chopped dates, 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda, 150 ml boiling water, 2 ½ tblsp unsalted butter, 125 g soft brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp finely slices glace ginger, 125 g sifted self-raising flour, butterscotch sauce*

*For the butterscotch sauce: 4 tbsp cream, 70 g soft brown sugar, 1 ½ tblsp unsalted butter

Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter four 300 ml ramekins. (I used a Pyrex dish instead, since I wanted to cut thin slices.) Put the dates in a bowl, sprinkle over the bicarbonate soda and then pour the boiling water over and set aside for 10 minutes. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, whisk in the eggs, the vanilla extract and the glace ginger. Finally add the flour, lighly fold it through the batter. Fold the date mixture through the flour batter thoroughly. Spoon the batter into the ramekins or the baking dish. If using ramekins, place them on a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puddings are firm.

Meanwhile make the butterscotch sauce by combining the cream, sugar and butter in a small heavy-based saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and cool.

When the puddings are cooked, remove from the oven and allow cooling for 5-10 minutes before pouring over the butterscotch sauce. Serve immediately, as it best enjoyed warm.

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