I know. An actual recipe! its been a while, but its getting towards an actual pudding season; the autumn and winter months. The nights start to draw in and the sun begins to shine a little less. Comfort food time. Although having said that, anytime is comfort food time 🙂
This is a fairly easy recipe to make and bake; add the sauce and hey presto a soft, moist and moreish pudding, fit for any time or day of the week.
I was though lucky enough to have been approached by a company called Global Foods UK who manufacture date products. Who knew? I think largely for the wholesale/trade market, they produce and supply dates, date pastes and date syrups from some of the worlds tastiest dates – Deglet Noir from North Africa and Zahidi from the Middle East. Really easy to use; the paste can be used in much the same way as dates – without the stones! The syrups can be used instead of ‘normal’ refined sugars. There are some health benefits I believe – check their website for their details
Now for research purposes I made a batch of chocolate muffins, substituting out the sugar and using the exact same amount of the date syrup. Like any other liquid sugar substitute it works fine. Mixes fine and cooks just as well. The problem we have is the taste, its just not the same as sugar.
Now the date paste is another matter. Having made this pudding I can safely say that the paste is really easy to use. Use in the same way you would dates, but the easy bit is that you don’t have to de-stone them!
I used the Deglet Noir date paste which has been put through a 3mm mincer.
Ingredients – enough for 12 people.
For the pudding;
250g date paste/chopped dates
140g black treacle
170g gluten free self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
For the sauce;
300ml double cream
160g soft brown sugar
Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c or 160c fan and lightly grease a container that holds at least 1.7L and is c26cm long, c20cm wide and c5cm deep.
First off put the chopped dates (the date paste will still actually need chopping into small pieces, the water, butter and treacle into a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer for 2 minutes. The treacle will soften and the butter will melt and the dates should also soften and absorb the liquids, plus soften to make them easier to mix.
Leave to one side to cool for about 10 minutes, then tip in the flour, ginger and the eggs and beat the mixture together to form a batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cut, whilst hot, into 12 pieces.
Put to one side whilst you make the sauce.
Pour the cream, butter and sugar into a large enough saucepan and bring to a slow boil for another 2 minutes – stirring whilst it heats. The sauce should thicken a little and have a lovely ‘saucey’ look to it… Pour this over the slightly cooled ginger pudding and serve – on its own or with (more) cream.