The gratuitous spoon porn shot #1
Let me tell you of a story of an intense love I had once that was so addictive and would always leave me breathless.
I fell head-over-heels with cake.
Not just any cake. But a sticky date pudding. This much loved cake had Australia transfixed and lusting after it so much, it has now cemented its place in our culture as a classic dessert. This love I had? It was intense and I couldn’t get enough of it. This cake was rich, sweet, warming, comforting and satisfied me in all the right places, anytime I wanted. And wanted it I did. All of the time.
Unfortunately there is truth to that old adage, “too much of a good thing“, and it proved too overwhelming for me to handle. Alas, it was now too rich and too sweet and all of a sudden it didn’t feel so good to be around it. I had over indulged in excess and my tastebuds had been permanently scarred against it.
So we separated for a good decade or so. The pudding banished to the depths, as I was entertained by new loves and the latest exciting desserts (hello Zumbo!).
But like most memories, stored away and long forgotten, it suddenly reappeared in a wave of nostalgia. Perhaps it was the smell of brown sugar that triggered it or maybe the taste of fresh dates? In any case I knew I had to see the cake again, on my fork and in my mouth. And so I baked it with great trepidation. Will we remember each other fondly or will our first meeting end in tears and nausea?
The gratuitous spoon porn shot #2
I am glad to say it was a heartwarming reunion. Reminders of why I loved it came rushing back with each savoured bite and every shameless lick of a cascading drop of butterscotch. I was enveloped once again in its comfort and warmth. A love so sweet can not be contained even by spans of time.
So if you haven’t been loved by a sticky date pudding before, then maybe it’s time to get acquainted and indulge yourself…in moderation of course, lest you go down my tragic road. And if you have been loved before and it’s been few and far in between, then perhaps a sweet reunion with this classic dessert is in order for the last remaining weeks of winter.
Sticky Date Pudding
125g pitted dates, chopped
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
3/4 C (about 190ml) of boiling water
80g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C self raising flour
1/2 C brown sugar
150ml thickened cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm square cake tin.
Place dates and bicarbonate soda in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and stand for 20 minutes.
Cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat well. With a metal spoon or spatula, fold through the date mixture (add the whole bowl – dates and water) and the flour until well combined.
Spoon into cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until the skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin for five minutes before turning it out and cooling on a wire rack.
To make the butterscotch sauce, combine all the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes until darkened and thickened.
To serve, prick the warm cake all over with a skewer and pour about a third of the butterscotch sauce all over the cake and allow to soak for ten minutes. Cut into square pieces and spoon extra sauce to serve.
Recipe adapted from Taste