Dalvay's Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce
Courtesy of Flavours of Prince Edward Island cookbook
Credit: Dalvay by the Sea
STICKY DATE PUDDING
1 3/4 cups (435 ml) dates (pitted)
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) baking soda
6 Tbsp (90 ml) unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
3/4 cup (185 ml) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) brown sugar (packed)
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract (optional)
1 fl oz (30 ml) dark rum (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180 °C). Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper. Half-fill a larger baking pan with hot water.
For the pudding, chop the dates coarsely, place them in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, mix in the baking soda and let stand for 20 minutes.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, adding the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. Use a spoon to work this into the egg mixture. Finally, add the date mixture and combine all the ingredients well.
Pour the mix into the prepared baking pan and sit the pan in the water bath. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce to oven temperature to 300°F (150 °C) until the cake is cooked, 25 more minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cut in 8 squares.
For the toffee sauce, melt the butter and dissolve the sugar in it over medium heat. Add the cream and, if using the vanilla and rum, simmer for 5 minutes until thickened slightly, stirring just to incorporate.
Serve the pudding warm with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. The pudding can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until needed. It can be reheated by steamer, or lightly microwaved before serving.