After hours of research on Sticky Puddings, I have found out that it comes from various parts of England, it is steamed, it isn’t steamed (at least not anymore), it has spices, oh no it doesn’t, it can be soaked in toffee sauce but doesn’t have to be, it is served hot but can be served cold (if you are a boor) it is accompanied by whipped cream, no make that ice cream. According to Wikipedia, it is a modern English classic along with Jam Roly Poly and Spotted Dick, another sort of pudding – I think. The two things everyone agrees on it is made with dates that are softened in hot or boiling water and it is served with toffee sauce accompanied by whipped cream, crème anglaise, or ice cream – take your pick. Or just the toffee sauce in some recipes.
Since I am a firm believer that no one should eat anything the same way all the time, I have made a few changes. What did you expect? I have flavored the pudding itself with orange zest and Kahlua. In an effort to let no part of this updated recipe go untouched, I have added dark rum to the toffee sauce.
Soft, pitted dates, such as medjool dates are perfect.
This dessert lends itself particularly well to individual servings as each portion can be heated as needed. All kidding aside, this is a very rich, wonderfully moist, pudding/cake thanks to soaking it in the toffee sauce which is the sticky part. It is easy to put together and tastes as though you have been killing yourself in the kitchen. It should be served warm with the sauce and an optional dollop of whipped cream.
6 ounces dates, pitted (170 grams)
1/3 cup Kahlua liqueur
7/8 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup flour (170 grams or 6 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened (60 grams or 2 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray six 6 ounce ramekins and set aside.
Place the dates, Kahlua and water in a saucepan with high sides. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda. The liquid will rise up quickly and then subside. Place the dates in a food processor and process until pureed although it won’t be completely smooth. Add the liquid and process to finish the puree. Cool.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until well mixed. It will be rather granular. Add one egg and orange rind; beat to blend. Scrape down. Add half the flour mixture and date puree. Beat until well mixed. Add the second egg, then the flour mixture and pureed dates as before.
Divide the batter between the six ramekins. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and a tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and release. Place on a platter.
Poke holes in the cakes with a skewer. Pour half the hot sauce over the cakes into the holes. The idea is to make the holes large enough to fill with the sauce. Return the remainder of the sauce to the heat, bring to a boil and boil it for 2 minutes.