The Festive Sticky Date

The Christmas tree and decorations are up and my kitchen is adorned with Christmas fairy lights.  It’s my favourite time of year, not least because of the feasting!

I soak up every Christmas cooking programme, every Christmas recipe that comes my way – some are new, some are old but I just can’t get enough of Christmas food – it seems to embody everything I enjoy about the concept of cooking:  the shopping, the preparation, the cooking itself and the joy of sharing and enjoying with family and friends.

As I usually defer to other people’s Christmas recipes, I am especially pleased to have come up with my own festive variation on one of my favourite puddings.  A lot of people find the traditional Christmas pudding a little too heavy, particularly in the heat of the Australian summer, so I have tweaked my Sticky Date Pudding to have a festive twist with the addition of rum!  You could add another spirit such as brandy or Whisky – whatever your favourite tipple.  This is a lighter pudding but still has the Christmassy dessert feel about it.

Festive Sticky Date Pudding

Serves 8

250gm Pitted Dates, chopped

3/4  cup of Water

3/4 cup of Dark Rum or tipple of choice

1 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda

60gm Softened Butter

2 Eggs

3/4 cup Caster Sugar

1 cup Self Raising Flour, sifted

Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup Light Cream

150gm Butter, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line the base of a 20cm round cake pan. This recipe will also make 8-10 individual puddings but I prefer to serve sliced in wedges.

Add the dates to a saucepan containing the water and the rum and bring just up to the boil. Then add the bicarbonate of soda and remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 5-8 minutes and then blend until smooth with a stick blender.

Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer and then add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Fold in the flour and date purée until just combined and pour into the cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

To make the butterscotch sauce, add all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until smooth and heated through.  You could also add some rum to this if you want to make it a really boozy dessert!

Serve a wedge drizzled with the butterscotch sauce with ice cream or cream or both and……..Merry Christmas!

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