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Chocolate Sticky Date Pudding With Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce

250 g pitted dried dates (8.8 oz.)
1 14 cups cold water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda or 1 teaspoon baking soda
125 g butter, chopped (4.4 oz.)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 12 cups self-raising flour (or 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour and 2 tsp. baking powder and 3/4 tsp. salt)
100 g dark chocolate, finely chopped (3.5 oz.)
double cream, to serve (whipping cream, whipped, or beaten mascarpone to form a thick sauce)
34 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup cream
75 g butter, chopped (2.65 oz. or 16 tsp.)
1 tablespoon whiskey (optional)


PREPARE PUDDING:. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius for convection oven; converts to 350 degrees F/320 F). Grease a 20 cm round cake pan (8-inch cake pan). Line base and side with baking paper (parchment paper). Combine dates and 1 1/4 cups cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Stand for 15 minutes. Process date mixture until almost smooth. Place butter and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, chocolate, and date mixture. Spread mixture into a prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. PREPARE SAUCE:. Combine sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in whisky (if using). Serve cake with sauce and cream.

Source: www.food.com