I had invited some friends over for lunch on Sunday and was in the mood to experiment. A very optimistic me set out researching recipes online (google, I totally love ya) and was soon distracted by the other half with his vacuum cleaning asking me to move from one place to another. Didn't have too much time to go through all my bookmarked recipes and so decided to go ahead with a Chicken curry recipe an uncle of Ro's had passed down, and this sticky date pudding/cake which just took my breath away.
I was a wee bit sceptical about trying out something completely new, especially when I had invited people over, but I braved my way through this one and it turned out to be one of the best desserts I've ever made (if I may say so myself..grin). On a side note, I think I should rename my blog to Clumsy Queen or Calamity Jane or something like that..because I just cant seem to carry out any cooking task without making a mess or causing trouble. The sticky part of the date pudding comes from the butterscotch sauce which I ended up with in my hair and the pictures I clicked caused such a mess, lets just say it was a 'sticky affair.'
I halved the recipe because I wasn't too sure about the outcome and was almost prepared to run to Sainsbury's to buy dessert if this one hadn't turned out nice. I made them in muffin cases because it was easier to do individual servings and made them a day in advance. The butterscotch sauce was made on the same day I had people over. Without further rambling, lets take a peek at this delectable Australian dessert
Sticky Date Cake
De-seeded dry dates- 135 gms
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Butter- 30 gms
Good quality vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Self- raising flour- 94 gms
Firmly packed dark brown sugar- 75 gms
Slice the dates into smaller chunks and place in a saucepan with water, over high heat.
When it comes to a boil, add the baking soda and butter and remove from heat.
Stir and set it aside to cool lightly. In this time the butter will melt. Stir again in between if necessary.
In the mean time, mix together the self raising flour and brown sugar making sure there are no lumps.
When the date mixture has lightly cooled, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to break up the mix or even better use a food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky mix. It is OK to have a few bite size chunks remaining. Its a pleasure to bite into those.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till well mixed.
Add this date mixture to the flour and sugar mix and fold the ingredients together until just combined and you don't see traces of flour.
Place 6 muffin cases in a muffin pan and pour the batter till 3/4th full.
Place in the middle rack of an oven preheated at 180C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till a tooth pick comes out clean.
Take the muffin tray out and let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring it on to a wire rack.
Store in a cool dry place or in an air tight container, if making it a day ahead. I left it in the oven itself overnight and it was just fine. But do this, only if its made a day in advance.
Butterscotch Sauce (BBC good food)
Double cream- 3.25 oz/ 93 ml
Firmly packed brown sugar- 83 gms
Butter- 75 gms
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
Lime juice- 1 tsp (optional)
Mix all these ingredients together in a saucepan and place over medium heat, mixing well till its all melted and then stirring continuously on low heat, till the sauce thickens.
Keep aside to cool lightly and if the sauce thickens before serving, place it back on fire and heat till it becomes a bit loose.
Place all the muffins in a deep dish and using a skewer or toothpick pierce them in a few places, right to the bottom.
Pour the warm butterscotch sauce over the pudding making sure they seep right through the holes to the bottom making it super duper moist.
Serve with vanilla ice cream drizzled with the remaining butterscotch sauce.
Notes: You can make the cake in a 9 inch pan instead of muffin cases.
I say cake because I omitted the assembling bit. I thought it would be a little too strong with the butterscotch sauce in the pudding. So what I did was, drip the butterscotch sauce over the muffins and then lightly heated it in the microwave for about 5 seconds just before serving. Also added a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with the sauce as an added treat.
You can refrigerate the left over sauce in an air tight container. I absolutely loved the sauce in spite of it taking a wee bit longer than expected. It is perfect to drizzle on cakes, cookies and ice creams.
The recipe and procedure might seem long, but trust me, it is one of the most easiest and yummiest desserts to make.