This is David's Cooking Blog - David is a Foodie with a long history of whipping up gastronomic delight in the kitchen. Read on to see just what he is tantalising our tastebuds with this week...

Sticky Date and Ginger Pudding

After having a sticky date pudding (with ginger) in Uralla earlier this year (at The Top Pub – go visit it, it’s fantastic) I was determined to try one at home. I’m a firm believer that a pudding of this sort should be steamed rather than baked, as you get a much more pudding like texture from it that way.
However, steaming on the stove is a pain, so I decided to attempt to steam it in my slow cooker.
This recipe is based on one from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion.

It was a resounding success! Moist, succulent pudding with very little prep time and a set and forget cooking method.

Sticky Date and Ginger Pudding



  • 170g Dates (Angus Park are good), chopped in to thirds
  • 1 tspn of BiCarb Soda
  • 300ml of Boiling Water
  • 80g Crystalline Ginger, sliced
  • 60g Butter – not margarine but real butter
  • 170g Castor Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 170g Flour – Stephanie calls for Self-Raising Flour, but I used Plain
  • ½ tspn of Vanilla Essence
  • Sauce

    The following are very approximate measures as I just threw it together off the cuff.

  • 75g Butter
  • 250g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 100ml Cream, although I used about that in whipped cream
  • ½ tspn of Vanilla Essence
  • 15ml of Dark Rum
  • Method

    Place the dates, BiCarb and water in a bowl, stir, then let sit to soften the dates.
    Cream the butter, sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well. Add the vanilla. Fold in the flour and when combined, pour in the date mixture and stir well.

    Now prepare your slow cooker. Place two jar lids in the base, and approx 500-750ml of water. Make sure your pyrex loaf dish fits in the cooker with sufficient room between it and the lid to allow for pudding expansion.

    Pour your mix in to the pyrex loaf dish, place in the slow cooker, cover and turn on to Auto (or High if your slow cooker doesn’t have an Auto setting). Cook for 9 hours or so, dropping to Low in the last hour.


    Just before serving, make your sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add sugar and stir well until combined. Add the cream, string well (reduce heat if necessary to avoid separation), add the vanilla and rum and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Sauce should be slightly thick, but still very pourable.

    Cut slices of the pudding, pour sauce over the top and serve with Ice-Cream or Custard.

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    posted to Uncategorized

    Mediterranean-inspired Beef on Rice

    Beef on Rice


  • 400g rump steak
  • 7 or 8 Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/8th of a preserved lemon, sliced thinly
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2Tbspn Tomato Paste
  • Steamed Rice
  • Method

    Dice the onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil.
    Thinly slice the steak, add to the pan and brown.
    Cut the mushrooms in to eighths, add to the pan with the Oregano and Mint.
    Add ¼ teaspoon of salt (roughly) and a good amount of cracked black pepper.

    When close to done, add the tomato paste and a little water and cook until the liquid is reduced.

    Serve on steamed rice.

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    Smoked Cod Chowder (slow-cooked)

    This is a very simple and cheap fish chowder but full of flavour and will easily feed 7-8 people.

    Smoked Cod Chowder with Rye Bread


  • 330g (2 fillets) of smoked cod
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 350ml of whey (or fish stock)
  • 1 small can of corn kernels
  • 3 or 4 mushrooms
  • Pinch of dried tarragon leaves
  • 1 small can of creamed corn
  • ¼ cup of sour cream
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of cornflour
  • Method

    Poach the fish fillets in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove form the water, remove the skin and debone. Break in to chunks.
    Finely cut the onion, dice the bacon, cut the mushrooms in to eighths and chop the potatoes in to bit size chunks then add all of this to the slow cooker with the whey/stock. Add the corn kernels (drained), tarragon and then place the fish pieces on top (don’t stir too hard as you don’t want to break up the fish).
    Cook for 3 hours on High (or 6 hours on low).
    Just before serving, add the creamed corn, sour cream and chopped parsley. Dissolve the cornflour in some water and stir in to the chowder. Cook for a further 5 minutes on high (chowder should thicken up a bit).

    Serve with German Rye Bread (very dark, moist rye bread).

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