When I think of “January” and “seasonal,” rather than thinking citrus or pomegranate, I think of Tu B’Shvat. And though dates may be available all year long, now is the time when we have excuses, not just to enjoy them as-is, but to bake them into their desserts, and perhaps no date dessert is as iconic as Sticky Date Pudding. Bring this recipe back to your dessert table for Rosh Hashanah too!
Seasons of a Pastry Chef: Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
- Cooking and Prep: 1 h
- Serves: 8
Prepare the Date Pudding
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease six to eight (four-ounce) ramekins.
In a saucepan, combine dates and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until dates are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in baking soda. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix to combine. Add date mixture and mix. Fold in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until just combined. Do not over mix.
The sticky date pudding will bake in a water bath. Set ramekins in a baking or roasting pan and pour boiling water around then, coming almost halfway up the sides.
Add batter to ramekins (be careful that no water gets into the ramekins) and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool before removing ramekins from water.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt butter and sugar together. Lower heat, add cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix until creamy. Serve alongside puddings.
How to Plate
I unmolded the pudding cakes from the ramekins so that I could serve the sauce under the cakes, but you can certainly serve it inside the ramekins as well, with the sauce alongside or on top.
To duplicate the photo, simply spoon the sauce on each plate (spoon it into the center so it spreads slowly in an even circle). Top with a sticky date pudding cake and sprinkle with cinnamon all around.
When ready to serve, top with a quenelle of ice cream. A quenelle is an oval-shaped scoop, and it’s more elegant than the traditional scoop of ice cream.
You’ll need two spoons to form your quenelle. Dip a spoon into hot water and place the long edge of the spoon into the ice cream, curling up so the mixture you scoop mimics the shape of the spoon. Scoop out onto your cake with the help of a second spoon.
Photography: Dan Engongoro
Dishes courtesy of Kitchen Caboodles, Brooklyn