Wednesday 19 September 2012

Warm Sticky Date Pudding with Almond Praline

Some fresh Medjool dates have been beckoning me from the pantry for over a month now to use them in my baking. For some reason I've just got bored with it. In fact, I've not baked even once this winter. So last week, when my little ones complained that I've not been baking as I used to, I was filled with guilt and remorse. I gave in and asked them for their choice. JK didn't have to think twice before he shouted, "Sticky Date Pudding"!

I rummaged through my shelf for my long-forgotten recipe stack and there, it was waiting for me - Jamie's Sticky Toffee Pudding (recipe source: Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Dinners (adapted to personal taste)). Poor little thing! I reckon it was waiting patiently for me to be picked up sooner than later. I've also vowed myself to get some baking done before the herald of summer.

If you are a dessert lover, you cannot go past this warm, moist and luscious pudding. The rich sweetness of the dates together with the warm finger-licking toffee sauce will totally entice you. Almond Praline gives a sweet crunch to the soft pudding and when served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream is a sinfully delicious dessert.

Makes: 1 x 8" cake or 8 mini loaves
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 - 45 minutes for 8" cake or 20 - 25 minutes for mini loaves + 5 minutes for sauce

Important: This pudding should be served hot with hot butterscotch sauce (can be warmed in a microwave). Use butterscotch sauce according to personal sweet preference. It is at its best when served with bits of crunchy almond praline and vanilla ice-cream.


For Pudding
  • 225g fresh Medjool dates, pitted (you can use dried ones, but )
  • 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • 85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 140g - 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Ovaltine/ Horlicks (plain malt powder preferred; chocolate malt also works well)
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
For Thin Toffee Sauce - pour over pudding fresh from the oven and to serve
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 180g brown sugar 
  • 200ml regular cream (45% fat) (Bulla)
  • 100 ml water
  • 25 ml golden syrup
For Rich Toffee Sauce - to serve (optional)
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 100 - 120 ml thickened cream (depending on the preferred richness)
1. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 160ºC. 
2. Put dates in a bowl with soda bicarbonate and cover with boiling water. Leave it to stand for a couple of minutes to soften. Then drain and make a smooth puree with the softened dates using 2 tbsp of the drained water. Sift flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Ovaltine and keep aside. Then cream butter and sugar until pale. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture a little at a time and continue to beat until just mixed. Fold in yoghurt and pureed dates. Pour into a prepared 8" spring form pan or 8 mini loaf tray. Bake for around 1 hr for 8" cake or 20 - 25 minutes for mini loaf or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
3. In the meantime, make thin toffee sauce by stirring sugar, butter, cream, water and golden syrup together in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and butter is melted (around 5 minutes).As soon as pudding is done, pour half this sauce over the hot pudding. Cover and keep aside. You may not need all the sauce. Please use according to taste preference. This sauce will keep the pudding moist.
4. If required,prepare rich toffee sauce by stirring sugar, butter and cream together in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened. This is a very rich sauce and hence use it sparingly.This is only optional; you can use the thin toffee sauce when serving the pudding as well.

To serve:  Heat pudding in a microwave until steaming hot. Pour rich toffee sauce or thin toffee sauce over each individual serve as required. Add some bits of almond praline and a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Click link below for Almond Praline recipe


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