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Daring Bakers Steamed Sticky Date Pudding and Memories of Winter

April 27, 2010 · 53 comments

in Baking,Desserts,Sweets,Winter

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

Some of my oldest and dearest friends came to visit me at Christmas. I had found winter up until then pretty hard going and the prospect that there wasn’t an end in sight was rather depressing.

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

When Team arrived, however, everything suddenly seemed so much less dreary even though the snow still lay unassailably thickly on the ground.

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

They made my birthday – a week before Christmas – one of the top two I’ve ever celebrated. We ate cinnamon buns Anna made for breakfast, opened presents, went to the casino, danced and ate some kebabs with Leon’s winnings on the way back.

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

I had a list as long as my arm of things I wanted us to cook and eat together and one of them was sticky date pudding. That time, it was a baked one and it tasted especially sweet with my friends around me but this one, another Daring Bakers challenge is perhaps a little more authentic, being steamed the traditional way.

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

It’s a little springlike to be tucking into such a heavy dessert perhaps but nevertheless, I’ve managed to make impressive inroads into it in the two hours since I made it and it tasted all the sweeter remembering the one I ate with Team.

daring bakers steamed date pudding with butterscotch sauce

Do things taste better to you when you’re with the people you love?

Steamed Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet. I wasn’t so keen on the idea of fat from around organs so I flagged it and made this instead.

For the Pudding

150 grams pitted fresh dates

150 ml water

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Bring the dates and water to the boil in a small pot and simmer a few minutes, breaking the dates up with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and mix in the baking soda.

30 grams of softened butter

75 grams sugar

2 small beaten eggs

90 grams flour

Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the date mixture, then finally fold in the flour until combined.

Pour the mixture into a buttered pudding bowl with at least 800 ml capacity. Cover with greaseproof paper and tie it on around the rim with butcher’s twine.

In a pot large enough to comfortably hold the bowl, place a ring of foil to keep the bowl from touching the bottom of the pot.

Pour in enough water to come about half way up the sides of the bowl, place the bowl atop the foil and put the lid on the pot.

Steam on medium until you hear the water boiling, then lower heat to its lowest setting and steam 1 hour.

Leave to cool a little before removing the lid.

Remove the paper and twine and ease a knife around the edges, before turning out onto a plate.

For the Butterscotch Sauce

110 grams brown sugar

60 grams butter

180 ml cream

Heat in a small pot until smooth and serve with the pudding. I used salted butter since that’s all I can get but if you use unsalted, add a bit of salt too, to make the flavour pop.

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tariqata April 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm

This sounds really good!

I used butter in my sponge version too, and I think it works just fine, traditional or no.

flo April 27, 2010 at 7:59 am

what a delicious pudding, well done, i thoroughly enjoyed it.

informalblathering April 27, 2010 at 8:20 am

Mmmm, dates! One of very favorite things. I’ll have to try this sometime.

sasa April 27, 2010 at 8:52 am

Like, next winter ;P

Nigel April 27, 2010 at 8:53 am

*drool!* And butterscotch sauce rules! I’d add a little salt to it, just to make the flavour a little more pronounced – well done!

sasa April 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

I used salted butter (there doesn’t seem to be unsalted here) in the sauce…Good tip for others though, gonna add it in, thanks!

Renata April 27, 2010 at 9:38 am

Well done Sasa! Your pudding looks yummy! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment!

Silke April 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

I am so gonna give this pudding a try.
It looks lovely!

Meeta April 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

This looks awesome Sasa! Just love dates and made a choc date pudding this winter which was great. Loving this version! Well done on the challenge!

Sheebs April 27, 2010 at 10:23 am

Made a similar one..but yours looks DIVINE!!!

Emma @ Poires au Chocolat April 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

How gorgeous! I’ve only made baked sticky date puddings before – I should have tried a steamed one. Great photos :)

Audax Artifex April 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

That looks lovely so cute and homely well done and the story about your friends stirs my heart strings. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

charlotte April 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

your pudding looks lovely! :) and i do think things taste better when eaten with good company!:)

nachiketa April 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm

oh yes, they do taste much better with people we love….. :)

Just like the
Steamed Chocolate Pudding & Steamed Apple n Caramel Pudding for Daring Bakers April 2010 – My First Challenge.

Date pudding’s gonna be my next, It looks like amazing comfort food :)


eggscreamandhoney April 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Of course it does. Nothing better than sharing food with good friends. Love your blog (we have the same template!) and have just completed by first DB challenge so am really enjoying discovering what everyone else has done. Your pudding looks lovely.

Lori April 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Sticky Toffee Pudding is definitely on my to do list.

Ruth H. April 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Isn’t it great how good food can bring back great memories! Great job on the pudding, and thank you for sharing your happy memories!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac April 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce is one of my favourite desserts. I have never tried making it with the traditional method but you have me very curious now.

Vanessa April 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Lovely post and lovely pudding. It’s great when food brings back such memories and when you taste it with your eyes closed, it all comes back. I’m a little late with my DB pudding but should find time to post tomorrow.

deeba April 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Well done indeed! Things definitely taste much better with friends and good company! Love the flavours in there, and the sauce too …. mmmm! Just beautiful Sasa!!

Chase April 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Um, wow. You mean I have to wait until dinner to make this…?

sasa April 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Nah, I ate it for brekkie ;P Wait…I’m a greedy piglet, don’t take my advice.

Maya April 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Looks lovely. I made something very similar, with the addition of some ginger for a spicy kick.

elra April 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Well done for this month challenge Sasa, your pudding look wonderful and perfect!

Michelle April 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm

The experience of food is definitely sweeter when it’s had with people you care about! Lovely post and a lovely take on the challenge! (And you’re right — it’s a bit strange to be reading someone else’s blog that uses the same template as your own!)

Kim April 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Your pudding looks great! I love the spiral of foil on the bottom of your pan to keep the bowl out of the water. Did the butterscotch sauce turn out well? I don’t see it in your photos and was curious.

sasa April 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm

It did actually but I forgot to take a photo with it on and well…I ate it before I remembered, hehe.

chiquita April 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Photos with all the props and little touches are so PURTY, just rike in a Japanese cookbook. Fab stuff.

My dad has always made these rich creme caramel or choc creme desserts for us at Christmas, and he still offers me the bowl at the end to lick out, because that’s what I used to do as a kid, and it’s the love that goes into that gesture that makes it all the yummier.

sasa April 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Aw, 3-9 Banannles! Sweet gesture – I remember reading a book (I forget the name now) where the dad gave his kids “love-sips” out of his tea cup while he was drinking.

outoftheoven April 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Your pudding looks wonderful!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) April 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

I love sticky date pudding but never thought of steaming it. Very very nicely done. Love the gorgeous colour of your pudding.

pragmaticattic April 28, 2010 at 12:21 am

Yumm . . . Sticky date pudding sounds so delicious and your pictures are lovely. I so agree that food tastes better when you are with the people that you love (unless you are momentarily annoyed with them ;-))

Couscous & Consciousness April 28, 2010 at 1:20 am

That’s a great looking pudding and, as luck would have it, it’s exactly the right time of year here for a pudding like that!
I think things definitely taste better when you’re with people you love – whenever I go to Auckland to visit my Dad, I try to coerce him into making one of his steamed puddings – and as he will pretty much do anything my heart desires (Dads are like that), I usually get a pudding. It’s probably quite an ordinary steamed pudding, but it tastes of his love. :-)

heidileon April 28, 2010 at 5:01 am

I think the act of cooking for the ones you love is an act of love (well, most of the time) and eating the food you love with your loved ones is such a strong and unforgettable experience.

As expats we love to try new things and see new places, but I think nothing can compare to the happiness of being with your family and friends sharing a magnificent meal (if in Mexico or France; even better!).

Oh, and will you believe I have never tried a pudding?.

Ago April 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

Oh delicious your tale and so more delicious your pudding!!! :-D
I’ve used butter, too…I don’t like suet very much ;-P

Aparna April 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

Looks so good. I also made sticky date pudding and we liked it so much I made it twice ! :)

tasteofbeirut April 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Definitely cooking for the ones we love and having them appreciate our efforts makes it an even more pleasant experience! I like how moist and delicious that pudding is and the fact that it is such a retro recipe!

Elra April 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Your butterscotch sauce is delicious and pretty easy to make. Cheers,

penny aka jeroxie April 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Looking at so many puddings, I want to make one too!

Eyes Bigger Than Belly April 29, 2010 at 2:31 am

YUM!! This is my absolute favourite pudding – you just can’t go past the butterscotch sauce :) And yes – I have to agree – EVERYTHING tastes better when it’s eaten with people you love! :) Absolutely gorgeous post!! :)

Kendra H April 29, 2010 at 4:27 am

Thank you for sharing your story with us and it’s great that it inspired your pudding! Now, I imagine it was wonderful to begin with, but I think being with the ones you love, just makes that bite almost euphoric :)

MaryMoh April 29, 2010 at 7:57 am

I love sticky toffee pudding. It’s the first cake I was introduced to when I first came to Scotland. I fell in love with it immediately. But I have never tried the steamed version.

Marietta April 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

mmmmm it looks delicious!
Well.. I always thought eating on my own to be totally depressing.. that is why I usually don’t eat anything when I am alone ( I meant anything fancy or interesting..).. Plus cooking for one I find it to be absolutely depressing..

Yours post reminded me of the closure in the “Woman on Top” movie..
“And remembers.. always share it with the ones you love”…

Anita April 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

There’s not much better than sticky date. This would have been a lovely moist and tasty pudding.

Ciaochowlinda April 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I’ve never eaten this but it sounds and looks great. I love your trick of using aluminum foil beneath the dish to steam it.

catty April 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm

i once had a bake off with my friend. She made a sticky date pudding. I made banana muffins and cucpakes. And then after all the hard work, we sat on the kitchen floor and ate it all. Said friend is now back in Oz and I miss her terribly :( things like this are definitely more fun with loved ones!

sasa April 30, 2010 at 10:27 am

Know the feeling…

Des April 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

This looks delicious.

AML April 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I used to do a very similar pudding with pumpkin and chai. Awesome.

amber April 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

YUM! This used to be my specialty but I haven’t made puddings in ages. I feel inspired!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 30, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Awesome job Sasa and I really like the flavour that you picked! :D I think I’d gladly tuck into this in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter! :D

John (Eat4Fun) May 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Delicious looking pudding and terrific photos. Congrats on the completing the challenge!

peasepudding May 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

A good old favourite especially with butterscotch sauce!

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