Meal to Share: Pub Food
Our fine trio are late for this month’s Meal to Share, because one of us (ahem Penny) has been eating it up in America and Canada. Naturally, Celeste and I don’t mind that Penny was having way too much fun overseas to cook her part of the meal, though I’m not sure we have forgiven her for not taking us on her trip!
But better late then never! Meal to Share is our monthly collaboration where the three of us each cook a course for a themed meal. The theme this month is pub food, and I’ve made dessert.
Entree: Shallow fried calamari rings in garlic breadcrumbs made by Celeste.
Main: Stout braised ox cheeks with cheese dumplings made by Penny.
Dessert: Sticky date pudding, made by me!
As you can see, I’ve made sticky date pudding. It was the first dessert I thought of when it came to pub food – it’s such a classic. And I can see why it’s such a popular dessert: it’s easy to prepare ahead of time and can be easily warmed up for serving. And it’s really easy to make.
This recipe makes for a soft, moist cake that is sweet and decadent. I find all recipes for this dessert to be much of a muchness, but if you don’t have a favourite one already, try this one. My only request is that you MUST eat it warm. I gave a piece to my colleague and was HORRIFIED that he was going to eat it cold. I made him walk to the microwave to give it a quick blast! Warming the cake makes it all soft and comforting, and the sauce all melty.
By the way, it was really hard to take photos pouring the sauce by myself! I would normally enlist Bro or Alastair to help out, but they were both out at the time – thank goodness for my camera remote.
Sticky date pudding
Adapted from Food We Love
1 3/4 cups (250g) seeded dried dates, coarsely chopped
1 & 1/4 cups (310ml) hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
60g butter, chopped
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1 & 1/4 cups (150g) self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup (250ml) cream
Grease a 20cm round cake pan and line the base with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a medium saucepan, add the dates and water. Bring to a boil, then remove the heat and add the baking soda. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl or mixter, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition. Stir in the sifted flour and then the date mixture.
Pour the mixture into a pan and bake for about 55 minutes. Let it stand for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the butterscotch sauce by combining the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir over heat without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
Serve the date pudding in slices, warmed, with a dollop of warm butterscotch sauce.