Geoff’s Sticky Date Pudding

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These mini sticky date puddings from Geoff Jansz will finish off your dinner party in style.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

6 ramekins (about 200ml each)

50g melted butter (to coat inside of pudding basins)

1 ½ cups chopped dates

1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate soda

150g softened butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 ¼ cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

thick cream (optional)

mint leaf (optional)

icing sugar (optional)

Butterscotch sauce

½ cup chilled butter

½ cup brown sugar

100ml pouring cream

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method

  1. Chill the ramekins in the fridge, then when cool brush the insides with melted butter. While you prepare the other ingredients, preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Put the chopped dates into a saucepan, then just barely cover them with cold water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Skim off any scum that forms. After about two minutes of simmering, switch off the heat and stir through the carbonate of soda. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar, then add two eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then gradually add the self-raising flour and the vanilla essence.
  4. Add the cooled date mixture into this butter-egg mixture and mix together thoroughly.
  5. Divide the sticky date pudding mixture evenly into the ramekins and place them all into a deep-sided baking dish. Then pour some boiling water into the dish until it comes three-quarters up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Place the baking dish into the preheated 180ºC oven (take care when doing this) and cook for 40-45 minutes. Use a metal skewer to determine that the puddings are fully cooked – if the skewer comes out clean, the mini date puddings are ready.
  7. Remove the pudding from the bowls, and cut the tops off. Put this on the plate and ease the rest out with a butter knife.
  8. Smother with butterscotch sauce (recipe follows), a dollop of cream, a mint leaf and some icing sugar, and serve.

Butterscotch sauce

Into a small saucepan over a medium-to-low heat, add the chilled butter, brown sugar, fresh cream and vanilla essence. Bring to a simmer, stir well to combine, and then set the sauce aside.