- 225 g (1 1/4 cups) pitted dates, chopped
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250 ml (1 cup) just-boiled water
- 225 g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
- 230 g (firmly packed 1 cup) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
- salt flakes
- 80 g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- vanilla bean ice cream, to serve
- 80 g butter
- 170 ml (2/3 cup) cream
- 165 g (firmly packed 3/4 cup)
- brown sugar
- salt flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 2.5–3 litre capacity oval or rectangular baking dish.
2. Combine the dates, bicarbonate of soda and just-boiled water in a heatproof bowl. Stand for 15 minutes, or until the dates are softened.
3. Place the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla and softened date mixture and mix to combine.
4. Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, place the butter, cream and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium–high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes. Bring to the boil and season with a pinch of salt. Stand until required.
6. Set the pudding aside to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
7. Pour half the caramel sauce over the pudding, then serve with the ice cream, the remaining caramel sauce and an extra sprinkling of cinnamon.
SLOW COOKER METHOD
Grease and line the slow cooker with two layers of baking paper. Follow steps 2 and 3. Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean. Follow steps 5, 6 and 7..
‘The Slow Cook’ by Justine Schofield, Published by Plum,
Photography by Rob Palmer