Just ask Daniel Sia, Group Culinary Director of The Lo and Behold Group, which has restaurants like two-Michelin-starred Odette as well as The Black Swan under its wings. His sticky date pudding gained its own legion of fans when he first introduced it back at the now-closed Marmalade restaurant in 2001.
Since then, he’s brought his recipe to the restaurants he’s operated, including The Disgruntled Chef.
Success for this dish lies in its soft, molten quality.
“We tried many different recipes but that resulted in a cake texture and it was dry,” says the chef. “At this time I spoke to a pastry chef about the issues I was facing, and she said try alternating the flour and liquid to achieve a steamed pudding texture.”
He advises the home cook to follow this technique as it changes the texture completely. “The batter may seem split, ‘broken’ and liquid-like but it will work out fine after you bake it,” he says.
He also swears by using medjool dates, as its natural toffee flavour is intensified when baked into this dessert.
Here’s how it’s done:
Recipe for Sticky Date PuddingServing size : 12
For the pudding
1) 250 grams, pitted dates
2) 225 grams, water
3) 110 grams, unsalted butter
4) 250 grams, castor sugar
5) 6 grams, baking soda
6) 250 grams, cake flour
7) 5 grams, baking powder
8) 1 gram, salt
9) 200 grams, whipping cream
10) 2 whole eggs
11) Berries for garnish (optional)
For the sauce
100 grams, butter
125 grams, light muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon, black treacle
300ml, heavy cream
1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
1. Rinse pitted dates well, then cook with water till the combination becomes a thick paste.
2. Add baking soda, baking powder and salt to the flour, then sieve.
3. Mix castor sugar and butter in an electric beater, at medium speed. When it takes on a pale white color, pause the beater to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add in eggs at low speed, and mix well.
5. Alternate the addition of flour mix and whipping cream, scraping down the sides each time one of these ingredients are added to the bowl.
6. Lastly, add the date paste.
7. Fill moulds with the finished mix. It is best to lightly brush the moulds with butter before filling them up, unless silicon ones are used.
8. Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees Celsius for ten minutes, then place the tray into the oven.
9. Bake the tray for 15-20 minutes at 165 degrees Celsius.
Method (for sauce)
1. Pour sugar, treacle and half the heavy cream into a saucepan.
2. Stir over a low heat at 180 degrees Celsius until the sugar has caramelised.
3. Then remove from heat and add the rest of the heavy cream, butter and vanilla extract, stirring them for a minute.
1. Serve puddings immediately out of the oven, and pour 2 tablespoons of freshly made sticky sauce over each one.
2. Top each of them off with favourite ice-cream and berries.
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