One of my favourite desserts growing up was sticky date pudding.
This may be surprising given I hated dates (crazy child), but something about the moist springy cake with rich gooey sauce just worked. So for my birthday this year, I decided we needed to have sticky date pudding instead of cake.
I looked at a few recipes and eventually settled on the laziest option where I didn’t have to cook the dates before hand. Good choice. After a few minor adaptions, this recipe worked beautifully. The people loved me!
And by people I mean my family and our favourite temporary housemate (er, only housemate, but still our favourite! We miss you Jono). But I digress. The people who ate the pudding loved me. Then I was so impressed with myself that I told possibly everyone I know about this amazing sticky date pudding I’d made, but then didn’t have any to share. Those people probably didn’t love me.
But maybe it was worth it. As I didn’t have to share it with them.
My sister said this was quite probably the best dessert she’d ever eaten. And that’s saying something, as she normally doesn’t even rate sticky date pudding (she’s more of a cheesecake kinda girl). But this was good enough to surpass even cheesecake to her. Whoa.
It’s surprisingly light for an almond meal cake, lovely and moist from the yoghurt and can have the perfect sweetness for your taste by adjusting the amount of sauce. It’s super satisfying and nutrient dense too.
It’s gluten free, grain free and high in healthy fats from the nuts and yoghurt.
Sticky date pudding
Serves 12, Adapted from the Gluten Free Kiwi
Cake – the cake alone makes a lovely tea cake!
2 cups pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup yoghurt
2 ½ cups almond meal
1 ½ tsp baking soda
Caramel sauce (I find this amount of sauce makes extra)
200 g butter
1 cup honey or maple syrup (300g)
Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F and line a cake tin or muffin tins with baking paper. Mix the dates with the bowling water and blend them in a food processor or blender (or by hand or immersion blender).
Beat the butter and add the eggs. Add the dates and the yoghurt and mix. Mix through the almond meal and baking soda.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour for a cake, or 20 minutes for muffins until golden brown and springy to touch. Check for doneness with a skewer.
Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce by melting the butter and honey or maple syrup over the stove. Bring to a slow boil, stirring. The hotter you let it go, the stickier the caramel will become. The longer you stir the more mixed it will get and the more melded the flavour. 10 to 15 minutes should be sufficient. You can store this in the fridge, heating before serving.
Serve pieces of cake with caramel sauce and double cream or homemade vanilla icecream and if in season, fresh strawberries.
Notes and suggestions: Make it in muffin tins for individual serves and store them in the freezer. Make just the cake for a breakfast or tea cake.
What’s your favourite dessert?