Sticky Date Puddings w/ Salted Caramel Sauce
I've always been attracted to British desserts.
Mincemeat pie, plum pudding, spotted dick (love the name!), fruit cake and sticky date pudding. Yes, please.
If you google sticky date pudding, every site is from either New Zealand or Australia, as well as Great Britain.
Pick your poison, they all made my mouth water.
I chose this simple recipe, but I think the next time I will steam the puddings, the traditional way, in a bain marie (water bath).
I didn't have the proper pudding molds, so I baked them in buttered muffin tins and inverted them. If you want to steam them (so they are nice and moist), just place the filled muffin tin in a roasting pan with water up the sides.
These are so delicious, but yes, they are very sweet.
I can offer you a remedy to that.
Instead of the traditional caramel sauce, why not make that wonderful beurre salé (salted caramel sauce!) from that Breton cake from a few months ago?
It balances out the super sweet dates with the delicious salty flavor.
Sticky Date Pudding (adapted from many websites)
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 1/2 cups boiling water
8 tbsp (one stick) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
You can make this in a 9" buttered cake tin, or a 12 cup muffin tin.
Boil the dates in the water for 5 minutes. They will be nice and soft and mushy. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients, adding in the cooled dates last.
Pour into the buttered muffin tin. If you are going to steam the puddings, place the muffin tin in a roasting pan with water filled up to the sides.
Baking time will be the same for steaming or baking.
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
If you are baking in a cake pan, then bake for 40 minutes or so.
While the cake/puddings are baking, make the salted caramel sauce (I could bottle this stuff).
Salted Caramel (beurre salé):
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter (yes, MORE butter!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (not regular table salt!)
In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the water and sugar on medium boil until turning golden, 8-10 minutes.
You can scrape the brown bits on the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush.
Take the golden liquid off the heat and carefully add in the cream, it will bubble and boil, so be careful not to splatter yourself.
Place back on the stove and stir for a minute, I do this with a wire whisk.
Add in 3 tbsp butter and kosher salt and cook another minute or two until the butter and mixture is nice and smooth.
Transfer to a heat resistant vessel, and place in the fridge to cool. You can make the caramel sauce 5 days in advance.
Invert the cakes/puddings and pour over the salted caramel sauce.
Best served with vanilla ice cream, but I don't buy ice cream in the winter, but I can imagine.