sticky date and caramel self-saucing pudding

  • 1½ cups (210g) chopped pitted fresh dates
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened 
  • ¾ cup (130g) brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour, sifted 
  • 50g unsalted butter, extra 
  • 1½ cups (260g) brown sugar, extra 
  • 1¾ cups (435ml) water
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl  and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place the date mixture, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until well combined. Add the eggs and flour and process until  just combined. Pour the mixture into a 2-litre-capacity baking dish and set aside. 
  2. Place the extra butter, sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted and the sugar  is dissolved. Gently pour over the pudding mixture. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to stand for 10–15 minutes, and dust with icing sugar to serve. Serves 6.

+ When pouring the liquid over the pudding mixture, pour it slowly over the back of a spoon so that it lands gently. 

+ Before your puddings go into the oven,  place them on a baking tray to catch any spills. 

+ Once cooked, allow the puddings to stand  at room temperature for a few minutes, so they cool a little and the sauce has a chance to thicken slightly. 

+ You can use an ovenproof saucepan, deep-sided frying pan or cake tin to bake your pudding in.

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