Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Ultimate Gluten Free Sticky Date Pudding

For years my husband and I argued that Sticky Date Pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding were different things.  Well he argued they were different, I argued they were the same.  I, of course, was right.  Call it what you will, its the ultimate winter pud.  Sweet and sticky its a winner every time.  If you or someone you love has an aversion to dates, you can blend these up with a stick blender to make the gooey date pulp unrecognisable then tell them its toffee !!!

I have made mine in 6 very small ramekin dishes perfect for a single serve that won't be too sickly, but had enough mix left over to fill my small pudding basin 3/4 full which would easily serve 4-5 people on its own.  This recipe works particularly well if you make it a day in advance and leave the pudding soaking in about half the sauce then warm it through to serve making it ideal if planning for guests but you don't want to be cooking the pudding same day.

225g Dates
175g Boiling water
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
175g GF Self Raising Flour (I used White Wings as thats all I had.)
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
85g Unsalted Butter
140g Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Treacle
100ml Milk

For the Sauce
175g Normal Brown Sugar
50g Unsalted Butter
225ml Double Cream
1 Tbsp Treacle

  1. Chop the dates up quite small.  Most packet dates are already de-stoned but as you chop them up you'll find any stray ones left in and remove them.  
  2. Place these in a small bowl then place the bowl on your scales and measure in your boiled water and stir through your vanilla essence and put aside to soften.
  3. Turn your oven on and heat it to about 160C Fan forced or 180C normal.
  4. Measure out the SR Flour and the Baking Soda into a bowl then grab a balloon whisk and give it a few good stirs with it to aerate and mix.  
  5. In a large bowl beat with an electric hand mixer or in your kitchen stand mixer the brown sugar and butter until creamy.  
  6. Add your eggs one at a time - don't worry if the mix looks curdled it will be just fine!
  7. Beat in the treacle then using a large metal spoon gently 'fold' in 1/3 of your flour mix.
  8. Now add 1/2 your milk continuing to 'fold' don't overmix.  Repeat until all the flour and milk have been added.
  9. Now you need to add your dates which have been softened.  Take the bowl and either mash with a fork a little if you prefer chunks of dates in your puddings, or if you're of the "toffee not date brigade" grab your stick blender and give them a whizz until a satisfying datey pulp remains, now fold it through your batter.
  10. I'm not a fan of sticky bowls and puds or cakes that don't come out cleanly - but I'm lazy.  Grease your Ramekins or pudding bowls with butter or in my case kitchen spray (shhhh!) then fill them leaving about a 2cm gap from the top of the dish.
  11. Bake for approx 20 minutes or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  12. While these are baking assemble your sauce ingredients
  13. Place the sugar and butter for the sauce into a small saucepan with about half the cream and bring to the boil on a med heat.
  14. Stir continually to prevent it burning until all the sugar is dissolved then add your treacle and stir it through.
  15. Turn your heat up only a little more and let it bubble away for another 2-3 minutes stirring to ensure it doesnt burn.
  16. Then remove it from the heat and beat the remaining cream through the sauce.  Balloon whisk is good for this or you can use a wooden spoon.
  17. When done, remove puddings from the oven and leave for a few minutes to cool a little - don't let them go cold in the dishes or you'll never get them out.
  18. Loosen them well around the sides with a knife before turning them out.  
  19. You want to make sure each pud gets soaked with the gooey sauce so I recommend turning them all out into one shallow baking dish and pouring the sauce over them all and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes or so before pouring off the sauce in the dish into a jug.
  20. If you're keeping the puddings for the following day or freezing them you can cover them at this point and leave them.
  21. If you are serving straight away place individual puddings on plates then pour over extra sauce and top with a dollop of cream or custard.
Please don't be put off by the huge number of steps in this recipe its quite easy really, I just like to explain it well.  It is incredibly rich so go easy.  This is definitely a 'once a year' kinda thing in our house - thats probably a good thing!

Enjoy !

L x

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