I am not going to lie and tell you that this is a healthy version of the traditional sticky date. It’s not. What I can tell you is that if you make this sticky date pudding once, you’ll make it 100 times.
This is my dessert recipe when I have little time but want to impress. Everyone I have ever served it up to (well, almost everyone…) has asked for seconds and I’ve been asked for the recipe countless times. I wish I could say it was my recipe, it’s not. It comes from the King’s Kitchen according to the food splattered, poorly photocopied piece of paper that is jammed inside my recipe folder. I have no idea who the King’s are (or were) but if you’re reading this, thank you for this pudding, it’s truly delicious.
The best sticky date pudding with vanilla ice-cream
170g dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp bi-carb soda
60g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
170g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
150g brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
Vanilla ice-cream to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Mix pitted dates and bi-carb together and pour over 300ml of boiling water. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Fold in the flour and then add the date mixture and vanilla. You will have a nice runny mixture. Pour into a well buttered 18cm square cake tin and cook for 30 – 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
For the sauce, place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the boil. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
Serve warm sticky date with the hot butterscotch sauce (don’t forget to take out the vanilla bean!) and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You won’t regret it.