Without doubt my go-to dessert when we have guests (because let’s face it, that’s the only time I make a dessert) is a sticky date pudding. It’s simple, easy and people ooh and aah when they eat it – everyone’s a winner. Satisfied tummies and Emma gloating over her fabulousness. My mum cranks out sticky date puddings like it’s nobodies business, so imagine my alarm when my mother-in-law told me she has never made one. Ever. I shudder to think of her poor sticky date pudding-less children.
Isn’t it funny that one family grows up with something as a staple dish and the other never experiences it? Different kitchens, different mother’s, different traditions. Last night watching Masterchef (we’re obsessed, are you?) I was noting down Matt Preston’s meatloaf glaze recipe, turns out it’s quite similar to the way I do it anyway, I commented to Matt that meatloaf reminds me of my mum feeding shearers. Lots and lots of meatloaf, big burly shearers coming over the hill from the shearing shed and stinking out my mum’s kitchen with sheepy smells. Yep, meatloaf is that. Turns out Matt never had meatloaf growing up – whaaaaat?! But hey, we’re not a custard family and his mum makes some sort of baked egg custard thing the kids go nutso over. Personally, I don’t get it.
This week we had mid-week dinner guests in the form of one of the jillaroo’s here and her boyfriend, now this weekend we’re hosting our
twins besties from Victoria. This all means one thing – I’ve been sticky dating. And because I like you I’m sharing the recipe, I’m nice like that.
Sticky Date Pudding Muffins with Butterscotch Sauce
Melted butter, to grease muffin pan
285g pitted dates, cut in half
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp bicarb soda
80g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cream
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
60g butter, chopped
Ice-cream to serve
Using pastry brush, brush melted butter into Texas muffin pan (you know, the big one that makes ‘the cafe muffins’). Using butter to grease the tin makes all the difference. Butter makes everything better and you know it. While you’re at it whack the oven on to 180 degrees.
Combine the dates, boiling water and bicarb soda in a bowl, making sure the dates are covered by liquid. Set aside for ten minutes to do their thing, then mash slightly with a fork once they’re softened.
Mix the butter and caster sugar together with electric beater until light and fluffy. I never really know what that means, so I’ve provided a photo of what I determine to be ‘light and fluffy’. Add one egg at a time, mixing well in between. Fold through flour and baking powder. Add in the date mixture (don’t drain away excess liquid, add that too) and stir until just combined.
Put mixture into muffin pan – I like to use an ice-cream scoop because it’s more fun than a spoon. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, combine the cream, brown sugar and remaining butter in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and it gets all yummy. Fact: butterscotch sauce is nectar of the gods. This is the part that will make your guests moan and groan Meg Ryan style.
Serve it up with ice-cream, smother it in that butterscotch, seriously drown it. See? Gorgeousness in a bowl. One of those staples which I thought everybody knew how to make, but apparently not. Now before I get complaints – I know this isn’t a traditional ‘pudding’ as such, but it works for this method of individual muffin serves. And another thing, I’ll let you in on a little secret…I don’t ever, ever, ever have self-raising flour in my pantry. I just use plain flour with baking powder. Same thing. But if you do use self-raising just omit the baking powder.
Have a fabulous weekend, hope it is filled with gallons of butterscotch sauce and other winter necessities.