Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In the Mood for...Warm Sticky Date & Fig Pudding with Creme Anglaise

Tried several Sticky Date Pudding recipes but always find them a tad too sweet for my liking and especially so coupled with the ever rich and decadent butterscotch or caramel sauce...diabetes alert!!! Chanced upon this easy-to-prepare recipe some while ago but somehow never found the time to attempt baking it. The original recipe is for a full 100% date pudding but I happened to be short on dates when the craving came and so decided to improvise and came out with my version with the addition of figs. Beautiful contrasting texture...soft, moist and warm and at the same time crunchyas you bite into the seeds of the fig. The pairing of the pudding with the Creme Anglaise is superb as it is not cloyingly sweet. High Yum Factor!

Warm Sticky Date & Fig Pudding with Creme Anglaise

Ingredients for Pudding :
200g Pitted Dried Dates
100g Dried Figs, chopped
150g Butter
250ml Water
3 nos. Whole Eggs
300g Brown Sugar
175g Cake Flour, sifted
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 180 Degree Celsius.
2. Cook dates, figs, butter and water in a pot over medium heat until fruits are soft (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Blend fruit mixture to form a puree and set aside to cool completely.
4. Whisk eggs and half of the sugar for about 5 minutes till thick.
5. Fold in fruit puree and gradually add in flour, baking powder and remaining sugar. Mix well.
6. Line muffin tins with paper cases and fill with pudding batter.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or till cooked.

Ingredients for Creme Anglaise :
250ml Cream
250ml Milk
100g Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract or 1 no. Vanilla Bean
4 nos. Egg Yolks

Method :
1. Combine milk, cream, sugar and vanilla essence/extract or vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Gradually whisk the mixture into the egg yolks.
2. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

* To Serve - Warm pudding in a microwave oven, place assorted fruits on the side of the pudding and drizzle with the Creme Anglaise to finish.

** Special Mention - If you want that extra 'hic', er...I mean kick in your pudding, try adding in a tablespoon or two of rum or brandy to the recipe; or alternatively serve with some poached fruits laced with Grand Marnier. The choice is yours!

*** Post-mortem Report - If you are calorie-conscious, you can try to reduce the cream in the Creme Anglaise to 150ml and replacing it with milk. It will have a more watery, milky mouthfeel but not so heavy on your waistline!