Sticky Date, Ginger and Pear Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Sticky Date, Ginger and Pear Pudding with Caramel Sauce

200g dried dates, deseeded
200g dried pears
2 cups water
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
350g self-raising flour
150g butter
300g brown sugar 4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
60g ginger in syrup, diced

Caramel Sauce:
300ml cream
250g butter
400g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbsp rum

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a 24cm spring form cake tin and line base with baking paper.
2. Place dates and pears in separate saucepans and cover each with 1 cup water. Add 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda to each saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, removing any scum from the water surface as it appears.
3. Sift flour into mixing bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and mix into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Blend dates and its water to a smooth puree. Add eggs, date puree and water from the simmering pears to the cake mix, combining well. Stir through diced ginger pieces.
4. Pour batter into cake tin. Place pears on top in circular pattern, pushing into batter a little. Bake for 80 to 90 mins.

Caramel Sauce: Combine cream, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and rum in a saucepan. Stir over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved and butter melted. To serve, cut warm cake in wedges and cover with caramel sauce.

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