Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sticky Date Christmas Pudding


 

Turn traditional spiced fruit pudding into a new Christmas classic with sweet dates and caramel. It's sure to be a hit every Christmas! 

Ingredients (serves 10)
150g Sunbeam Mixed Fruit
125ml (1/2 cup) brandy
235g (1 1/2 cups) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
250ml (1 cup) hot water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Melted butter, to grease
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
3 eggs
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
Thickened cream (optional), to serve  

Spiced caramel sauce
300ml thickened cream
160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
50g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice

Method
1. Combine the mixed fruit and brandy in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight to macerate.
2. Combine the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a heatproof bowl. Set aside for 20 minutes to soften.
3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 2L (8 cup) pudding basin with butter. Line the base with non-stick baking paper. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the brandy mixture, date mixture, flour, mixed spice and ginger until just combined. Spoon into the prepared basin and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the basin for 10 minutes to cool.
4. To make the spiced caramel sauce, combine the cream, sugar, butter, ginger and mixed spice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
5. Turn the pudding out onto a serving platter and serve with the caramel sauce and cream, if desired.   

Notes
Start this recipe a day ahead. For an alcohol-free pudding, replace the brandy with apple juice.

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