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