Sticky date and walnut pudding

    1 hour 25 min

    On a chilly winter day, nothing could be more welcoming than a sponge pudding packed with dates and toasted walnuts. This is very easy to make and it has a lovely moist texture achieved by ‘steaming’ the pudding in a bain-marie in the oven. A tangy pineapple and marmalade sauce makes a perfect accompaniment.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • Sponge pudding
    • 170g (6 oz) dried stoned dates, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
    • 85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
    • 85g (3 oz) light muscovado sugar
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 110g (4 oz) self-raising flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 50g (1 3/4 oz) walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
    • Pineapple and marmalade sauce
    • 1 tin pineapple pieces in natural juice, about 400g
    • 1 teaspoon arrowroot
    • 4 tablespoons fine-cut orange marmalade

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 900ml (1 1/2 pint) ovenproof pudding basin and line the bottom with a small disc of greaseproof paper.
    2. Place the chopped dates in a bowl and pour over 2 tablespoons of the milk. Stir to coat, then leave to soak while preparing the sponge mixture.
    3. Put the butter, sugar, eggs and remaining 1 tablespoon milk in a bowl. Sift over the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth. Fold in the soaked dates and the walnuts.
    4. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Set the basin in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come 1 cm (1/2 in) up the sides of the basin. Cover the tin and basin with a tent of foil.
    5. Bake for about 1 hour or until the pudding is lightly risen and springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes or so.
    6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Drain the pineapple, reserving 150ml (5 fl oz) of the juice. Finely chop the pineapple pieces. Blend the arrowroot with a little of the juice in a small saucepan, then stir in the rest of the juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute or until thickened and clear. Stir the pineapple and marmalade into the sauce and simmer for a further 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    7. Lift the basin out of the tin and turn out the pudding onto a warmed serving plate. Spoon a little of the hot sauce over the top and serve with the rest of the sauce.

    Each serving provides

    A, B12, calcium, copper, iron

    Some more ideas

    Use self-raising wholemeal flour rather than white flour. The mixture will need an extra 2 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk. * Instead of a pineapple and marmalade sauce, serve the pudding with a pineapple and orange compote. Just mix the pineapple pieces and their juice with 2 to 3 sliced or segmented oranges. * To make mini lemon and sultana puddings, soak 85g (3 oz) sultanas in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon brandy for 1 hour. Lightly grease eight 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) deep muffin tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Make the sponge mixture as in the main recipe, but leave out the dates and walnuts, and instead fold in the soaked sultanas and the finely grated zest of 1 small lemon. Divide the mixture among the tins and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make a maple, pecan and citrus sauce. Put 120ml (4 fl oz) maple syrup in a saucepan with 4 tablespoon orange juice, 85 g (3 oz) roughly chopped toasted pecan nuts, the segments from 2 oranges and 1 pink grapefruit, and 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, if liked. Gently heat until the sauce is just beginning to bubble. Turn out the puddings onto 8 serving plates. Arrange a few extra orange and grapefruit segments around each pudding, then spoon the hot sauce over the tops. Serve straight away.

    Plus points

    Up to 95% of the energy content of dates comes from natural sugars. The fibre content of dates ensures that the glucose obtained from the sugars is released slowly into the blood stream. * Walnuts have a high unsaturated fat content, particularly as linoleic acid. Some studies have suggested that including a regular, small quantity of walnuts in the diet can help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks. * Pineapple canned in natural juice has a total sugar content of 8.5 g per 100 g (3½ oz) compared to 13.2 g for the same weight of pineapple canned in syrup.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    I don't know how this could be bland when topped with a wonderful sauce. We have some marmalade we bought that hubby hates but it is terrific in the pudding and fruit bread recipes. Yours is the first I have seen to use it.  -  02 Nov 2017


    Sorry - found it bland and tasteless :-(  -  15 Oct 2013