Date and caramel steamed pudding
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Babiche Martens
When it comes to hosting a successful dinner party, the dessert should ideally bring a sense of drama. As the final act it should have your guests on the edge of their seats when you bring it to the table. A room beautifully lit with dimmed lights and candles, a carafe of port or a bottle of sticky wine, will help set the scene. At this time of year, when it is freezing outside, there’s nothing more delicious and decadent than a steaming hot sticky pudding. I love the sound of the pudding bubbling away on the stove as it sends out delicious aromas. When ready, tip the pudding straight from the basin on to the serving dish and add lashings of caramel sauce and whipped cream. Superb.
- Grease and line 4-cup pudding basin.
- To make caramel sauce, place sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Soak dates in boiling water with baking soda for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth.
- Place 3 tablespoons of sauce in basin. Top with half the date puree.
- Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat again. Stir through flour, cinnamon, milk and remaining puree. Pour into pudding basin. Use a double sheet of baking paper with a fold in middle to cover basin, tying tightly with string. Place pudding into a large pot on an upturned saucer. Fill with warm water to halfway up the pudding, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook the pudding for 1½ hours topping up the water if necessary.
- Just before serving tip pudding on a plate. Serve with extra caramel sauce and cream.