Sticky Date Pudding

Sticky Date Pudding

Serves 8-12

200g pitted dates, chopped
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
75g Dark Cooking Chocolate, grated

Sauce:
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
200 g butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat, stir in the soda, and stand for 5 minutes. Purée until smooth.
3. Cream the butter and caster sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.
4. Fold in the flour, then the puréed dates, followed by the chocolate.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 21 cm round pan (or six to eight individual moulds – muffin trays are ideal). Bake for 55 minutes (25 minutes for individual ones).
6. Prepare the sauce by placing the cream, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Remove the pudding from the oven and stand for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a baking tray. Pour over enough of the sauce to cover the top of the pudding. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
8. Dust the pudding with icing sugar and serve with remaining sauce, accompanied with cream or ice cream.

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