Aussies know a thing or two about desserts. I gobbled up decadent chocolate cakes and English pavlova –white meringue layers filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. But my absolute favorite Australian dessert is sticky date pudding.
I ate it for the first time, served warm with double cream sauce, after a camel ride to dinner by candlelight in the shadow of Ayers Rock in the Outback. Where did it originate? Some stories say it is either an English or Scottish invention. Whatever the case, I think the Aussie’s have perfected the dish.
Don’t feel too guilty eating it, after all, dates are a great source of dietary fiber.
Here’s my favorite recipe, which is easy and quick. I make it every holiday, and guests always ask for second helpings. Truth be told, it makes a fabulous addition to breakfast the next day if you have any leftover.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2.5 oz dark chocolate, grated
- 7 oz chopped pitted dates
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar (castor)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Whisk together flour, baking powder and chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Over high heat, bring the dates and water to boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes before scraping into a blender to puree until smooth. Set aside.
Beat 1/4 cup of butter with the superfine sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the flour mixture and the date puree until well combined. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 25 minutes. While this bakes, stir together the cream, brown sugar and 1 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Set aside.
When the puddings are done baking, remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes (do not turn off the oven yet). Next, remove them from the muffin tin and place directly onto a baking sheet. Spoon 2 Tbsp of the sauce over each pudding, then return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!