Saturday afternoons . . . a relaxing time that usually finds me in my kitchen, experimenting and puttering to the dulcet tones of Rod Stewart and the American Songbook. (I love those albums!)
We usually skip lunch, and eat our dinner mid-afternoon, complete with a tasty pudding . . . kind of like at Christmas, but without the gifts and crackers . . . it usually holds us through until Sunday morning with maybe only a snack of cheese and toast in the evening or something similar . . .
January Saturdays call for comfort meals . . . warm and filling . . . and stodgy puddings equally as comforting!
Stodgy doesn't mean awful though . . . it usually means rich and deliciously tasty. Puddings such as this fabulous version of a Sticky Toffee Pudding, using the wonderfully rich sweet flavours of Maple Syrup, creamy dates and crunchy toasted macadamia nuts.
With it's scrummily moreish Maple Cream Sauce, this is a pudding fit to please even the most jaded palate! I dare anyone not to like it!! How could it ever get any better than this????
Well . . . ahem . . . lashings of cream do add an additional layer of scruminess.
This is bliss . . . gooey stick maple puddings, moistly filled with dates, topped with baked on and buttery maple syrupy toasted nuts, sitting in a pool of maple cream and then drizzled with cold cream . . . whilst Rod Stewart warbles in the background. Ahhh . . .
This is Sticky Toffee Pudding . . . but pimped to the n'th degree!! It doesn't get any better than this!!
*Sticky Maple Nut Puddings*
The smell of this baking is enough to send everyone in to the kitchen to ask what's for dessert! Gooey sticky maple and macadamia nut topped date puddings, served with a moreish toffee sauce and of course cream. Why not! (You may want to double the sauce!)
80g of soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
150g of unsalted butter, softened (a scant 3/4 cup)
170ml of pure maple syrup (2/3 cup)
70g macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
185g of chopped pitted dates (1 cup)
185ml boiling water (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g plain flour (1/2 cup)
60g self raising flour (1/2 cup)
90ml of double cream (1/3 cup)
2 TBS pure maple syrup
25g of unsalted butter (2 TBS)
Pouring Cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180*C/ 350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter 6 8-ounce ramekins. Cut out parchment paper circles to fit into the bottoms and line each of them with a circle. Place on a baking tray and set aside.
Measure out 2 TBS of the brown sugar. Cream together with 60g (2 14 ounces) of the butter and half of the maple syrup. Spoon into the bottoms of the cups. Evenly sprinkle each with an equal portion of the chopped nuts.
Place the dates in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the soda. Let sit for about 10 minutes, before beating with a spoon to break up the dates until almost smooth. Beat in the butter and then the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flours and then stir them into the date mixture. Divide this batter evenly amongst the cups.
Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for five minutes before inverting into 6 pudding bowls. Peel the paper off carefully.
In the meantime, combine the cream, syrup and butter for the sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes until slightly thickend. Spoon the warm sauce around the puddings and serve with some pouring cream..