I use block dates for this recipe, but you can use ready chopped dates without a sugar coating as the pudding will be too sweet.
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup boiling water
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light muscovado sugar
2 large fresh eggs
1 and 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup Hotel Chocolat organic cocoa (or any other brand of good quality cocoa)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup thick double cream
1 and 1/4 cups light muscovado sugar
80 grams unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
To serve – French vanilla ice cream or chilled Cornish clotted cream
- Put the dates into a heatproof bowl or jug, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
- Brush six one cup moulds with melted butter, lightly dust with cocoa, tipping out excess; chill in the fridge until ready to bake the puddings.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC, 355ºF, gas mark 4.
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then gradually add the eggs – one at a time – beating well between each addition.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl, resift over the batter and add the milk, dates and water – stir until just combined.
- Divide between the moulds, bake for approx. 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Put the cream, sugar, butter and sea salt into a heavy based saucepan over a low to medium heat, cook while stirring (do not allow the mixture to boil), until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
- Simmer for three minutes, stirring throughout.
- Serve immediately with the puddings and vanilla ice cream or Cornish clotted cream.