This is one of my favorite desserts ever. Quintessentially British if you may 😊 However because of its richness and sweetness, I can’t have too much of it, neither can I have it too often.
Can I tell you something funny though, I never knew it was made of dates (did you??) Only when I decided to make it did I discover it was made with dates. It was confusing for me because, well, dates are a middle eastern thing NOT British. Oh, and how did a Middle Eastern staple become a key ingredient for a classic British dessert?
Anyhoo, read more about the history on google lol. On a random Wednesday, I decided to make the pudding. It’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream or unsweetened double cream. After eating it I felt slightly guilty if for the calories packed in one bite... ah well, life is too short not to enjoy good desserts.
Serves 6 - 8
175 grams self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225 grams dates
85 grams unsalted butter
2 tbs black treacle
140 grams soft brown sugar
1tsp Vanilla extract
For the sauce
200ml double cream
50 grams butter
175 grams soft brown sugar
1 tbs black treacle
A 6 muffin tin OR 8 small ramekins
First step is to put your dates into a heatproof bowl and add boiling water to them. Just enough to cover them. Leave them to sit for 30 minutes to an hour or until the water has cooled enough for you to handle.
In the meantime pre - heat your oven to 160. Take whatever dishes you will use and grease them with a thin layer of batter and dust them with flour ready for use later.
Sift your flour and bicarbonate together and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until the butter is slightly pale (the sugar doesn’t break down so don’t worry about it). Then, gradually add your eggs and vanilla as you whisk.
Once incorporated, add half the milk and about 1/4 of the flour and fold in with a spatula. Keep repeating until all the flour and milk has been incorporate.
Now for the dates. Drain the water from the bowl and using your hands, carefully remove the pips and any inedible bits from the dates. Then using a fork, mash the dates into a rough paste.
Add this paste to the cake batter batter and mix it through. Don’t worry that the dates aren’t entirely broken down, they will be as they bake)
Pour our the batter evenly into your dishes and put into the oven on the middle shelf for 25 minutes.
Once ready allow to cool before upturning the puddings.
For the toffee sauce
As the puddings cool, place the butter, sugar and cream into a sauce pot on medium heat. Keep stirring as you let the ingredients melt to form a sauce. Once melted, add one tablespoon of treacle. Let the sauce cook down to a thickness of your liking and then allow it to cool down for a few minutes before serving.
Plate your pudding with a generous helping of toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.