About this recipe:Dates give this old favourite its delicious toffee texture while keeping the fat content down.
175 g (6 oz) stoned natural dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
175 g (6 oz) self-raising white flour
175 g (6 oz) dark muscovado sugar
50 g (1¾ oz) 70 per cent fat spread, plus extra for greasing
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the sauce
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
3 tablespoons virtually fat-free fromage frais
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:50min › Ready in:1hr
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Lightly grease a 19cm (7½in) square cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Roughly chop the dates. Place them in a small pan with 200ml (7 fl oz) of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
Place the flour, sugar, spread, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl and beat until blended and thick. Stir in the dates then spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes until well risen and firm.
To make the sauce, place the sugar, syrup and fromage frais in a pan and heat until melted and smooth, stirring. Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the sauce spooned over.