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Another one of those “pudding” discoveries made while on vacation in London! We liked it so much that I made them for dessert on Christmas Day. They can be made ahead, or even frozen. Even the sauce can be made ahead or frozen! Just so you know, buy the Muscovado sugar; regular brown sugar doesn’t give the same depth of flavour to the puddings and the consistency and taste of the sauce is so much better! Trust me, I tried it. You can find Muscovado sugar at Galloways. You simply must gild the lily and top with “clotted cream.” However, if like me, you can’t find the “proper” thing…oh how I miss England, I have included a recipe for “faux clotted cream” below or serve puddings with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Makes 7 or 8 Individual Puddings
For the Puddings:
85 grams softened unsalted butter + extra for greasing dishes
225 grams soft Medjool dates, pitted & coarsely chopped
100 ml dark rum
100 ml boiling water
175 grams unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
150 grams dark Muscovado sugar
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
For the Sauce:
300 ml whipping cream
200 grams dark Muscovado sugar
60 grams unsalted butter
50 ml dark rum
Make the Puddings:
Preheat the oven to 360 F (yes 360 F, not 350);
Put the dates, rum & 100 ml boiling water into a small pan & bring to the boil over medium heat; turn down the heat & simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dates are very soft. Set aside to cool.
Grease 7 or 8 individual ramekins (when completely full, the ramekin holds ¾ cup). To check, fill with ¾ cup water to make sure they are the right size. The ramekins are the usual size used for crème brulee in case you don’t have any & now you will have no excuse to not make crème brulee!
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda & a pinch of salt into a bowl & mix together. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl (using a hand-held mixer), beat the softened butter & the sugar together for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Alternate adding in the flour mixture & the dates, a little at a time; mixing each addition well before adding the next; divide the batter evenly between the ramekins, smoothing the tops. Place on a rimmed baking sheet & bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each pudding comes out clean; cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Make the Sauce:
While the puddings are baking, put the cream, sugar & butter into a pan & bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the rum & cook for a further minute, until the sauce is smooth & thickened. Place the puddings onto individual serving plates, poke holes all over the top with a thick skewer; drizzle with some of the sauce, letting it seep into the puddings; then pour the remaining sauce over the warm puddings & serve immediately.
To Make Ahead:
You can prepare the puddings & sauce as above; remove the puddings from the oven, allow to cool in their ramekins for 10 minutes, turn out onto a baking sheet which has been lined with foil. Poke holes in the puddings with a wooden skewer & spoon 1 – 2 Tbsp. of the toffee sauce over each warm cake. Let cool completely; cover with foil and refrigerate. Cover the sauce & refrigerate. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 F; reheat the puddings on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes; meanwhile reheat the sauce on low heat; place puddings onto hot serving plates & drizzle with remaining sauce.
You can freeze the puddings & sauce separately for up to 3 months. Defrost completely, then finish them as described in “To Make Ahead.”
“Faux Clotted Cream”
1 cup whipping/heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. icing sugar
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form; whisk in the sour cream & sugar using a hand whisk. Store in the fridge for at least 4 hours.