Brace yourself folks. This is everything good about Christmas on a plate. It’s not your grandma’s awful Christmas pudding with all the lumps of dried fruit you had to choke down…this is a new take on a classic that takes you back to Dickensian England, but is pure cake-y joy to eat, and that your kids will LOVE.
What you need:
7 ramekins (200ml/7 fl oz) OR a bundt cake tin
Heat oven to 350.
For the Pudding:
* 1.5 cup of dates
* 3/4 cup of boiling water
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla
* 1/4 cup +2 Tbsp Butter (6 Tbsp all together)
* 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp Brown sugar
* 2 beaten eggs
* 2 Tbsp of Molasses
* 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp Milk (100 ml)
* Dry ingredients: 1 cup + 1 Tbsp self-rising flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Toffee Sauce:
(if you plan on doing the day-long soak option described below, double or even triple this recipe)
• 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• Pinch of kosher salt
Optional – Ice cream or whipping cream as additional topping.
And away we go!
Prepare the dates ahead of time by steeping them in Earl grey tea or English Breakfast tea.
Use butter to grease the inner sides and base of the ramekins, or butter and flour to grease the inside of the bundt cake tin.
* Stone and chop the dates quite small and put in a bowl, then pour over the 3/4 cup of boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes, then mash with a fork and add the 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
* Mix your flour and baking soda together.
* Beat the two eggs.
* While the dates are soaking, make the pudding:
– Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well between additions.
– Beat in the molasses and gently fold in 1/3 of the flour/soda mix and half of the 100 ml milk.
– Repeat until all the flour mix and milk is used.
– Stir the mashed date/vanilla mixture into the pudding gently.
* Spoon evenly between ramekins or all into the bundt pan.
* Cook at 350 degrees. For the bundt pan, cook for 30-40 minutes (until it bounces back and the tester comes out clean). For the smaller ramekins, 20-25 minutes will do. When you take it out let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then invert the pudding/s out of the pan and onto the rack.
While the pudding is cooking, you can make the toffee sauce:
* In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and cream and stir with a whisk until the sauce gets sticky, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
To serve, unmold each warm pudding onto a plate and top with a big spoonful of the toffee sauce, letting it run all over the plate.
And if you REALLY want to be an all-star, experts recommend the pudding will taste better if you make it a day ahead, slip the pudding/s out of their pan/s, and pour some of the sauce into the pan. Then put the pudding back in to soak up the sauce. (If you take this approach, definitely double or triple the sauce recipe.)
When it’s ready to serve, warm the pudding up in the oven, and warm the sauce. Then invert the pudding/s to remove, and place onto a serving dish or individual dishes. Serve with the warm sauce and vanilla ice cream or whipping cream, and watch the magic happen.