I made some Sticky Date Puddings and Salted Caramel Sauce to have with the Toasted Sesame Seed Ice Cream I made yesterday. There's only so much sitting-in-the-rain-eating-ice-cream I can do without the neighbours starting to talk.
Sticky Date Puddings with Salted Caramel Sauce
slightly adapted from Gourmet Traveller
For the Puddings:
450ml milk (I used low fat)
370g pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 vanilla bean (seeds and pod)
1 teaspoon baking soda
120g unsalted butter, softened
220g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
225g self-raising flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
For the Sauce:
275g caster sugar
180ml pouring cream
50g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Toasted Sesame Seed Ice CreamExtra toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling
Make the Puddings:
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and put them together with the pod, milk and dates into a small saucepan. Bring to boil and turn off the heat. Add the baking soda (it will bubble up), and set aside for an hour.
After an hour, take the vanilla pod out, pour the dates and milk into a blender and blitz until smooth. Set aside
Preheat the oven to 175 C. Grease and flour 10 x 125ml capacity ramekins or pie tins.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce the speed of the mixer to its lowest setting and add the flour, spices and the date mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins to about three-quarters full and tap them gently on the bench to level. Put them onto a baking tray and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until they are golden and spring back when gently pressed.
Make the Sauce:
Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and stir. Place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and increase the heat to high. Boil the mixture until it turns a deep golden colour (about 10 - 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, add the cream, butter and salt (be careful, as the caramel will bubble up). Stir for about a minute until thoroughly combined.
Serve the puddings warm in their ramekins or tins. Top with a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of hot Salted Caramel Sauce and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.