19 March 2010

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

Hello! Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Let me dust away the cobwebs and bring you a new recipe.

But before then, many many things have happened in the last month, the most important and exciting of which is that Geoff and I are now engaged!

Geoff is also travelling quite a bit for work, and I am back finishing my masters, so all is well, but very very busy.

The recipe today is Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce. I have not been able to find much information on where this recipe is from, some sources say England, others New Zealand and others Australia. In any case, it is delicious, and I am sure it must be slightly healthy, what with all the dates... hmmm (strategically ignoring the cream, sugar, cream and oh yes, cream).

The recipe I used is from the Australian TV show called Masterchef, which I read somewhere was the highest rating TV show in Australian history. This would not surprise me, as I really don't watch much TV but I made an effort to watch this show on a regular basis, as it was so good. This was one of their many many delicious recipes, so I would recommend having a look at their website to find more.

You will need:

For the pudding itself:
  • 180 g chopped, pitted dates
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 60 grams of butter, soft
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
For the almond praline:
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
For the butterscotch sauce:
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
Ok, lets get started with the pudding. Preheat the over to 180 degrees Celsius and butter the pans you intend to cook the pudding in. I normally use a cake pan, but you make make little individual puddings as well if you like.

Chop the dates and add them and the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then remove from the heat and add in the bicarb soda and stir in order to break down the dates. Leave to cool, but stir every now and then.

In a bowl, add the sugar and butter and mix with an electric mixer, adding in one egg at a time. Once light and fluffy, add in the date mixture and then fold in the flour.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and place in the over for at least 30 minutes. The recipe says 40, but mine would have been overcooked, so just check in case it needs 10 minutes more.

Now for the almond praline. Sounds easy... just don't leave it on the stove and get distracted by a book and set the fire alarm off... hmmm... not that I would ever ever have done that!! lalala

Cover a baking tray in baking paper and sprinkle almonds over it. Add the sugar into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Swirl the pan around and take off the heat once the mixture is beautiful and golden. Pour over the almonds and leave to cool.

Last but not least, the butterscotch sauce, one of the most delicious things on earth. Add the butter, cream, sugar and vanilla to a saucepan and leave on low heat until the butter is melted. The turn up the heat to boil, and finally reduce the heat until the sauce thickens.

For lazy days, you really do not need the almond praline, the rest of the recipe has more than enough sugar to put even the most sweet obsessed people into a sugar coma for a week or so... but it does look very cute!

Serve your sticky date pudding on a plate, drizzled with the butterscotch sauce, with a piece of almond praline, and maybe a little cream or ice cream to finish.

Enjoy and be merry, and remember, there is fruit in this recipe, so it must be ok!! (ok, well at least it tastes divine!)
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