I have a fierce sweet-tooth, and in winter a warm pudding is the perfect way to end a meal, especially one drowned in sticky caramel sauce. This is a twist on Sticky Date Pudding, or Sticky Toffee Pudding as it is known in the UK.
It is better to make this pudding using electric beaters or a mix-master rather than a food processor to retain the texture of the apricots and walnuts. If you are lucky enough to have any leftover caramel sauce, it can be used drizzled over ice-cream or other desserts.
Date, Apricot and Walnut Pudding with Caramel Sauce
* This recipe was inspired by a recipe by Jill Dupleix that appeared in a Sydney newspaper many years ago. I have modified and adapted it over the years to come up with the below reincarnation.
- 100g dates, pitted and chopped
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 250mls water
- 75g butter, softened
- 100g raw sugar
- 2 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 100g crumbled walnuts
- 200g brown sugar
- 300mls cream
- 50g butter
- A generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- Ice-cream or whipped cream, to serve
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Spray a cupcake / muffin pan thoroughly with cooking oil spray.
- Mix dates, apricots, bicarbonate of soda and water in a small saucepan, heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the ingredients are heated through – the mix will froth due to bicarbonate of soda.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Add the flour and mixed spice and mix until combined.
- Add the date and apricot mixture and approximately 75g of the walnuts [reserving some of the walnuts to sprinkle on the top]. Gently stir to combine.
- Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the muffin pan – the mix should make 12 puddings, depending how large you want them. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining walnuts.
- Place muffins in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the puddings spring back when touched in the middle.
- Combine the brown sugar, cream butter, salt, vanilla extract and mixed spice in a pan [I use the pan that had the dates & apricots in it to impart extra flavour into the sauce and save on washing up].
- Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place a warm pudding in a bowl [or zap briefly in the microwave to reheat], add caramel sauce to taste. Accompany with whipped cream or ice-cream. Enjoy.
What is your favourite winter dessert recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?