A Sticky Date Pudding recipe that’s easy, and very, very Asian.
I will start this post, like many others, with a confession. I do not like dates. I really don’t. I feel they look gross, taste weirdly sweet and sticky when eaten raw. I never liked them, even as a child. Understandably, my mind was blown when I had Sticky Date Pudding for the first time.
I cannot tell what it is about this pudding that is so inviting. Firstly, the dates are pureed in a food processor (I used a chopper, same difference), so they cannot be seen in the cakes. And something magical happens to dates when they are cooked. They intensify in sweetness, become rich and almost toffee-like. Irresistible when combined with eggs, flour, butter and of course the thickly oozing sauce that accompanies the cakes.
When writing this recipe, I researched many similar ones online to find one that sat just right. I wanted maximum flavour, and extreme moisture. But after a couple of tries (and many calories), I taught myself not to bother too much with the dry texture. That’s what the sauce is there for!
This recipe requires a number of steps, but they can all be relatively quick and the trouble is worth it, trust me.
These cakes were made in muffin trays and can be stored in the fridge as they are, without the sauce. The sauce can be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge separately. When ready to eat again, place the individual cake in a microwaveable bowl, pour your desired amount of sauce on top of it and heat it up. This dessert is best when consumed warm. Cold Sticky Date Puddings aren’t for me – though if you like that, be my guest!
The Asian Twist
I used Milo and Coconut Milk in this recipe. The malt powder works to mirror the rich sweetness of the dates, while the coconut milk just adds exuberance with a depth of flavour that cream, IMO, just cannot achieve. This is a sweet recipe, even though I have tried to bring down the amount of sugar as much as I can without impacting the structure of the cakes. If you still think it’s too sweet, you can reduce the sugar in the sauce, but not the cakes.
- 230g Fresh Dates, stoned
- 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 85g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 140 Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Medium Eggs
- 170g Self Raising Flour
- ½ Tsp Ground Spice
- 2 Tbsp Milo (heaped)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Milk
- 115g Unsalted Butter
- 90g Dark Brown Sugar
- 140ml Coconut Milk
- Place the dates and baking soda in a bowl. Cover with hot water and leave to soak while you measure out your other ingredients.
- Grease 12 cupcake cases (or 2 muffin trays) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, drain the soaked dates and blitz them in a food processor. Set aside for later.
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 mins on low speed. Then, add the eggs, flour, spice and milo powder. Continue to beat until just combined, about 1.5 mins.
- Add the pureed dates and coconut milk. Fold in until combined, and portion out the batter (it will be rather thick) into the muffin trays. Bake for 10 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the cake(s) comes out clean.
- While the cakes are baking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until they melt into each other. Let cool slightly.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them in the pan for 2 mins, before placing each cake on a serving plate. Ladle on the luscious sauce, and dive in while the pudding is warm.
- If you’re not eating it all in one go, store them separately in the refrigerator. Instructions to do so are in the introduction.
- Happy cooking and sinful eating (as it should be).