Date Night

Sorry for the recent lack of posting, I’ve been away on my holidays in the sunny Emerald Isle.  And it’s still wonderful.

Since I’ve come back winter seems to have decended on Sydney. I use the word “winter” somewhat loosely, as the weather is not dissimlar to what I just left back home.

So, what to do when the weather turns a wee bit chilly in Sydney? Well, if like The Fella, you were born and raised here; you give out, a lot, about how difficult it is to function when the temperature drops below 20 °C. The poor Fella has forgotten about his five year stint in Ireland quicker than I can say “wear thongs on a hot day”. Idiot.

Instead of moaning about the weather, I decided to made sticky date pudding and think about all the reasons that winter is class.  Number one: wearing tights and boots, love it. Number two: Christmas!!! Oh-oh, scrap that last one, I now live in the wrong hemisphere, and I think that’s why the Aussies hate the (incredibly mild) winters they get, they have nothing to celebrate during it. Poor dears. And of course, number three: you can sit in on a Friday night, watching telly, eating uber-calorific deserts, drinking buckets of tea and not feel one tiny wee bit guilty about it! Brilliant.

My sticky date pudding was warm and sticky and delish and covered in hot toffee sauce and cold ice cream; and I very nearly had to stop myself from eating it all in one go.

Sticky Date Pudding

Sticky pudding + tea + telly + couch = perfect winter(ish) date night.


For the puddings:
225 g (8 oz) pitted dates, chopped
240 ml (½  pint) boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
115 g (4 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
100 g (3 ½  oz) demerara sugar
2 large free range eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
225 g (9 oz) self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

For the sauce:
115 g (4 oz) butter, diced
100 g (3 ½  oz) demerara sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
110 ml double cream
vanilla ice cream

For the puddings:
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. You can then either grease and flour 6 individual pudding moulds or 2 larger pudding bowls or one large cake tin (depending on your preference, I went with the cake tin).

Soak the chopped dates in the hot water for about 15 -20 minutes with the bicarbonate of soda.

Meanwhile cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Fold in the flour until well combined, then add the dates and water and mix everything together well.

Transfer this mixture to the pudding moulds or cake tin you will be using and bake until a metal skewer comes out clean. How long this takes will obviously depend on which size mould you use but it should be between 40 minutes and 1 ½ hours.

For the sauce:
Gently heat the butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla extract in a heavy pan until melted together and simmering. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream, stirring constantly until smooth.

Once the puddings are done, serve hot from the oven with plenty of sauce and a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.



You might also like:

Eastern inspired chocolate cake

Strawberry and blueberry clafoutis

Pumpkin pie with clementine cream


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