Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

When my sister and I were younger we loved nothing more than “sticky tape pudding” on a cold winter’s night. Not much has changed, but (to our great relief) we now know that the secret ingredient to our favourite pudding is not sticky tape. This dessert is perfect served warm out of the oven, swimming in a pool of butterscotch sauce, with a good helping of vanilla ice-cream.

P.S. This butterscotch sauce is liquid gold. I sometimes make it just to go on ice-cream for the ultimate sundae & it never lasts long in our household!

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Ingredients (serves 6-8)
Pudding
1 ½ cups chopped dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
60g butter
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour, sifted

Butterscotch Sauce
125g butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup golden syrup
300ml thickened cream

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Method
Grease and line a 20cm round cake pan with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (160 fan-forced).

Combine dates and water in a small saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat & then add bicarb soda and stand for 5 mins.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; combine well. Fold in flour alternately with date mixture into the egg mix and gently stir until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan.

Make sauce by heating butter in small saucepan, adding the sugar and syrup (handy hint: spray your ¼ cup with a bit of cooking oil before adding the golden syrup and it will come out much more easily!) and stirring over the heat (without boiling) until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat & stir in cream.

Pour ¼ cup of sauce over the pudding and return to the oven for a further 5 mins (with foil over the top so it doesn’t darken too much).

Cut into desired size pieces and serve with lots of sauce and vanilla ice-cream.

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Recipe from Mum (originally adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly)

Chocolate, Date & Almond Torte

First thing’s first, I want to apologise for my lack of blogging lately. I’ve just started uni so it’s been a bit of a challenge trying to juggle everything BUT I certainly hope to do better in future. This torte is my go-to dinner party dessert, particularly in summer.  It is relatively quick and easy, always tasty and has never failed me yet. I also love that it only uses ingredients I have constantly on hand but looks a bit exotic and special. I love it served with raspberry coulis and dusted with a little icing sugar (as pictured here).

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Ingredients (serves 8-10)
4 egg whites
165g caster sugar
200g pitted dates
200g raw almonds (skin on)
200g dark cooking chocolate
Icing sugar, to dust
Berry coulis, to serve

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Method
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 22-23cm springform cake pan.

Place dates, almonds and chocolate in a food processor in 2 batches. Process until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Whisk the eggwhites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form.

Transfer date mixture to a large bowl. Fold in a little beaten eggwhite to loosen date mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Spoon batter into prepared tin and bake 60-70mins, or until torte is firm at the outer edge & moist but not wet in the centre.

Cool in pan. Dust with icing sugar and then slice torte, serving with berry coulis.

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Adapted from Delicious Magazine June 2005