After Ramadan I always have a whole bunch of leftover dates lying around that I need to find different ways to use them up.
Inspired by this recipe from Recipe Tin Eats, I made a few tweaks to the recipe to reduce the sweetness to my liking. This is still a very sweet dessert, but this more my kind of sweet.
Essentially it is a modified version of the British dessert: sticky toffee pudding, which is a very soft cake like ‘pudding’ that gets doused in a warm sticky toffee sauce. The whole thing is served warm, sometimes with ice cream or whipped cream, and is beyond addictive. It is probably up that as one of my all time favourite desserts.
This version of sticky date pudding uses dates and brown sugar to sweeten the pudding and butterscotch sauce. I also modified the butterscotch to be a little less sweet, but still decadent.
What to do with leftover dates?
I love to add dates to my smoothies. I will deseed them and pop them into the freezer. Then I can easily grab a date or two for my smoothies to help sweeten the smoothies naturally. I also like turning leftover dates into energy balls.
As delicious as dates are to eat or add to smoothies. Sometimes you just want something different. Enter the sticky date pudding! More like a very moist cake with an addictive butterscotch sauce poured all over. This easy sticky date pudding is perfect way to use up those dates.
Easy Sticky Date Pudding
For the Pudding
- 9 oz pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar loosely packed
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Warm Butterscotch Sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar loosely packed
- 3/4 cup whipping cream (or heavy cream)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- Whipped Cream or Ice Cream for serving
Prepare the Dates
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Grease a muffin tin with butter, or grease and line one large 8" square cake pan with butter and parchment paper. Make sure there is enough parchment overhang along the edges so it will be easy to lift the pudding out later. Set aside.
- Place the pitted dates in a bowl, sprinkle over 1 tsp baking soda. Pour the boiling water over the dates. Allow to stand 10 minutes, then mash well with a potato masher (or fork) to break down the dates a bit.
Prepare the Pudding Batter
- Using a stand mixer, beat 6 tbsp softened butter and 1/4 cup brown into sugar in a bowl. Beat until combined and smooth.
- Add 2 eggs, beat until incorporated. Scraping down the sides as you go.
- Add 1 1/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix until flour is incorporated.
- Add the soaked and mashed dates and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix quickly until the dates are well incorporated into the batter. Follow directions to make one pudding or individual mini-ones.
For One Large Pudding:
- Pour into the prepared cake pan, smooth surface. Bake 35 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. While the puddings bake, make the butterscotch sauce.
- While the pudding is still hot, use a large wooden skewer to poke about 40 holes all over the surface using a skewer. Pour about 1/2 the Butterscotch Sauce, and let it soak for 10 minutes.
- Use the overhang to lift the pudding out onto your serving plate. Cut, and serve warm with the remaining warm butterscotch sauce and ice cream or whipped cream.
For Individual Puddings:
- Pour batter into the muffin tins, only fill the batter 2/3 of the way up.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. While the puddings bake, make the butterscotch sauce.
- While the puddings are still hot, poke about 10 holes on the surface of each pudding. Spoon over 1-2 tbsp of Butterscotch Sauce per Pudding. Leave to soak 10 minutes.
- Turn pudding moulds upside down on serving plate. Serve warm with remaining warm butterscotch sauce and ice cream or whipped cream.
- While the puddings bake, make the butterscotch sauce.
- Place the 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2/3 cup whipping cream and 1 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to a simmer.
- In a small bowl mix 1 tbsp corn starch with 2 tbsp water to make a corn starch slurry. Pour into the butterscotch sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is thickened then remove from heat. Serve warm.
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