Sticky Date Pudding with Hot Butterscotch Sauce

When I think of puddings, I think of British desserts. Images of  boarding school classics such as Jam Rolly Polly or Spotted Dick instantly come to mind.  I’m not sure where Sticky Date Pudding originated but Australians have made it their own and I think it would have to be one of the most popular winter desserts down under, and for good reason.  The warm date filled pudding topped with the hot butterscotch sauce is a magical combination.  Add to that a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s heaven on a plate.  I made these as individual puddings but the same recipe will yield a 20cm cake. These cakes can be made the day before and frozen for up to 3 months. They can then be defrosted and heated in the microwave.

Ingredients – Makes 8 Individual Puddings or 1 x 20cm cake  Adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly

275g seeded dried dates
1 1/4 cups (310ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
50g butter
2 eggs
1 cup (150g) self raising flour (or 1 cup plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder)

Sauce
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar (use a dark brown sugar if you want a darker coloured sauce)
300ml cream
80g butter

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease 8 Dariole moulds well with butter.  Combine dates and water in a food processor.  Stir in soda, cover with the lid and let stand for 5 minutes.  Process date mixture with butter and sugar until pureed.  Add eggs and flour.  Process until just combined.  Pour mixture into the moulds.  There will be just enough batter to fill the moulds to the 3/4 mark.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Make butterscotch sauce by stirring all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and thickened slightly.  Stand cakes for 10 minutes then turn onto a serving plate. Serve warm with the hot butterscotch sauce and icecream.

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