Picture-perfect pudding

Indulgent and wintery with sticky caramel and dates, this stalwart cold-weather pudding will have everyone calling for a second serve. Serve hot or cold with a thick drizzle of caramel sauce. This classic dessert will banish all blues.

Sticky date pudding with hot caramel sauce

Make 16 squares:

1 ¼ cups pitted dates, chopped

1 ¼ cups hot water

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

125g unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 cups self-raising flour

2 tsp ground ginger

250ml thickened cream, whipped (optional)

Caramel sauce:

1 cup thickened cream

125g unsalted butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line base of a square 22 cm cake tin. In small saucepan, cover dates with water and bring to simmer, 2-4 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in bicarbonate of soda, mixture will foam. Leave to sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, beat butter with electric beater until soft, then add brown sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add vanilla and beat for another 10 seconds. Sift in flour and ginger and fold in well.
  3. Use hand blender or fork to mash dates, then fold dates into flour and butter mixture. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake 45 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted into middle comes out clean. Run a knife around edge of pudding. Serve immediately or transfer to wire rack to cool and store in airtight container for up to 3 days.
  4. To make the caramel sauce, in medium saucepan combine cream, butter, sugar and syrup. Stir and bring to simmer for 8 minutes, until slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools). Slice pudding into 16 squares. Pour over caramel sauce to serve individual portions. Spoon over dollop of whipped cream and dust with icing sugar, to taste.

Top tip: Luscious, belly-warming, irresistible and sticky, this classic comfort food is an absolute treat until it comes to cleaning up the caramel sauce. Removing the sticky mess will be no problem for new Finish Quantum with Powergel.