Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and Almond Praline

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and Almond Praline
Home Cooking

Yes, this is another MasterChef recipe but this was one I HAD TO DO. Sticky date pudding has been one of my favorite desserts since I was a wee little kiddie. When I used to go to sizzlers, I'd head straight for the dessert bar and load the little frilly plates with sticky date pudding, custard and soft serve. That was my idea of a REALLY good time.

When I saw that they were doing sticky date on the show, my ears pricked up and I thought: will DEFINITELY be making this. I had most of the ingredients at home too, bar the dates themselves.

I thought about just making the pudding and whipping up some home made custard to serve it with but since the recipe was 'there', I ended up following the whole thing from start to finish. I made the accompanying butterscotch sauce and almond praline.

A few things: I didn't have the little metal moulds they used in MasterChef so I buttered some dome-shaped ramekins and prayed for the best. They are large compared to the moulds used on the show so this probably affected my cooking time. Secondly, I made a fatal, stupid error and started my oven up at 200 degrees. No idea where I got this figure from, it just happened. Consequently, the top (which, when turned up-side-down became bottom) of my puddings are a bit dark.

The original recipe suggests an oven temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. My oven is small and my moulds are big. I chose to lower the heat to around 150 degrees Celsius so that I could potentially cook for longer without burning. With small ovens, I find that the same temperature ends up being 'hotter' because there's less area in the oven for the heat to circulate.

You can find the original MasterChef recipe here. I divided the quantities by 2 when making mine.

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and Almond Praline
Makes 2


For the pudding

  • 90g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of sodium bicarbonate
  • 130g firmly packed brown sugar (about 1 quarter cup + 1/2 a quarter cup)
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour, sifted
For the praline (I didn't really use measurements, if you want to - go on their recipe)
  • approx 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup of almond flakes
For the butterscotch sauce
  • 25g butter
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the pudding...

1. Pop the dates in a small saucepan and add the water. Put this on a hot stove (on high) and bring to the boil. Take this off the heat, add the bicarb and stir. Let it cool down a bit while you follow the next steps, remembering to stir every now and again.2. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
3. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Mix in the dates.
5. Gently fold in the sifted flour.
6. Grease your moulds and place them in a deep baking tray. Pour the batter into the moulds to about 2/3 of the volume. Pour water into the baking tray till it comes up to a third of the height of the mould.
7. Stick this in the oven and bake for around 30min till the top is golden and an inserted skewer/knife comes out clean.

For the almond praline...

1. Line the almond flakes on some baking paper on a flat tray.
2. Put the sugar in a small non-stick saucepan and put the heat on medium-high. Add the water and stir.
3. Keep watching and stirring the sugar until it forms a golden caramel.
4. Pour the caramel over the almonds and tilt the tray a bit to get it to cover all the flakes.5. Let it cool down completely before using a knife to break the pieces apart.

Almond praline is an impressive decorating tool

For the butterscotch sauce...

1. In a small, non-stick saucepan, combine all the ingredients on medium heat.2. Stir until combined and keep it on the heat until it's slightly thick and very golden.
3. Taste test to be sure! Set aside until needed.

To assemble...

1. Whilst still hot, pop a sticky date pudding out of its mould and onto a plate. If you are having a lot of trouble with this (like I did), run a knife around the mould or keep it in there.
2. Serve with some vanilla ice-cream, the almond praline and the butterscotch sauce.

This is my deconstructed sticky date pudding - the way it is because I had issues getting them out of the ramekins...
I think it looks pretty ;).

Maybe there is some sense in using metal ones after all. Also, they only took 30min to cook, not 40min. Aside from those hiccups, everything else turned out well.

Inside of the pudding

Butterscotch sauce must be the easiest and most satisfying thing to make in the world. It tastes so good I just slathered it over everything and ate spoonfuls of sugary, ice-creamy, sticky mush.

Pudding mush

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