A few years ago, while I was still actively caking I decided that the world needed a sticky date cupcake. It was easy, I basically baked the mix instead of steaming it and turned the butterscotch sauce into a buttercream. Then I tasted it and I couldn’t stop. I think I had it for dinner one night. Really, the only thing better than butterscotch sauce is butterscotch butter cream. I decided to stop making it, for the sake of my own health.
I think it was only a few years ago that I realized that what us Aussies call “Sticky date pudding” is what the English refer to as “Sticky toffee pudding”. Thanks Rick Stein for setting me straight on that one. Whatever name it goes by, this is truly one of the best desserts in the world! The kind of dish that I can’t pass up on a menu, that makes me want to lick the plate in fancy restaurants…you know that sort of thing?
A lot of pudding these days are baked, giving them a more “cakelike” texture. Adding water to the baking dish here gives it a nice sponginess that makes it more like the traditional pudding.
- 180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 60g butter, softened chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 50g butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C fan-forced) and grease either an 8 inch cake tin or a set of moulds. I used a set of greased silicon baking cups for mine.
Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Take the dates off the heat and add the bicarb (baking) soda. Set aside to cool and stir occasionally. The dates will break down as you do this. If you like a really smooth pudding, place the dates in a food processor. I like little chunks of date throughout my pudding so I skip the processor.
Beat the butter and sugar using a mixer. Gradually add the eggs one at a time. The mixture will become light and fluffy. Add the cooled dates to the egg mixture and stir. Add the flour and give it one last mix.
Pour the mixture into the tin or divide between the baking cups you are using. You want the cups about 2/3rds full. Place the puddings in a large baking dish and pour enough water to come half way up the cups.
Bake for 40 minutes until the puddings are golden on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
The butterscotch sauce is simple. Simply place all the ingredients to boil in the saucepan over medium heat. Watch for the sugar to dissolve and then reduce the sauce for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.