For those whose parents didn’t “get it together” (yes, a concept more hideous than Ghaddafi’s last honeymoon DVD) until the 80’s, this dessert was found in restaurants more than Drano (well, our drains get blocked, whaddayagunnado?!)
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Nevertheless, it was popular because it is damn delicious. And with the chill wind blowing, it was either this or Pumpkin soup! Yes, well…I will do the blessed orange terror soon.
This recipe comes from the net. Yes, you are on the net now, but this recipe comes as a result of my research of the millions out there. I think it’s no only the simplest, but gives the most consistent result. I made some changes too. Got a better one? Send it on in…
1¾ cups chopped, pitted, dried dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g butter, softened
2/3 cup Sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
thick cream, to serve
¾ cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup, or honey if you don’t have it.
100g butter, chopped
¾ cup thickened cream, whipped, or double cream or ice cream.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (not imitation)
60ml Brandy, Cognac, Armangnac – optional
1. Preheat oven to 170ºC. Grease and line a 20cm deep cake pan.
2. Combine dates and 1¼ cups water in a saucepan, bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in soda, then let stand 5 minutes. Purée completely.
3. Beat butter, raw sugar and eggs together for 2 minutes (do not be concerned if mixture appears to curdle). Stir in sifted flour, then date mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes – 1 hour or until cooked. Stand 10 minutes, then upturn onto a round platter. You can wrap and refrigerate when cool, and hold til you are about to serve it. Reheat carefully (ie slowly) in the microwave, still wrapped, and proceed as below.
4. Meanwhile, make sauce: place all sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Heat, stirring until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. BOOZE option – add the alcohol before you simmer. Don’t flambe it..that would take the recipe back from the 80’s to the 50’s, and I don’t know any myopic songs from that era.
5. Prick pudding all over with a fine skewer. Spoon half a cup of sauce over pudding. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce and cream.