Sticky Date Pudding + Salted Scotch Spiked Butterscotch {vegan}

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An insanely *m-word trigger warning* moist date, cinnamon spiced pudding with a boozy, salted Scotch spiked butterscotch sauce (say that 10 times fast!). Serve steaming hot on a chilly night with a fat scoop of ice-cream.

‘You need to make this for everyone so they know I get to eat like this all the time’ — the words of my partner who loved this sticky date pudding so much that he wanted to make everyone he knows jealous. It is, I will admit, very, very good. The cake is perfectly soft and squidgy, and is poked with holes while still hot to encourage the butterscotch to mingle with the cake and turn it into a true pudding. Not just cake and sauce, which is how I’ve been served sticky date pudding way too many times. This should not be dry cake + sauce. It should be sauce soaked pudding + more sauce + ice-cream.

Sticky date was on every restaurant/café menu in Australia while I was growing up in the 90’s and naughties. It’s still on old-school menus that haven’t changed in 30 years, a little bit retro like a raspberry coulis or a chocolate lava cake, but it deserves to stick around. It was always my mum and brother’s favourite dessert, and though I used to pivot towards the chocolatey desserts, this is now right up there in my top 5 (maybe 10?) favourite sweet things, beating most of its chocolatey competition.

The salted Scotch spiked butterscotch takes this lil retro pudding to new heights. The salt and booze balance out all the sweet from the medjool dates (please use medjool and not dried dates, they have so much more flavour and a much nicer texture) and sugar, and add a little something, something. You can leave out the Scotch, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It makes this pud way more interesting and adult-like. You wouldn’t know this is vegan, it actually tastes 10x better than any other non-vegan sticky dates I’ve eaten, just saying. The coconut in the butterscotch sauce isn’t super obvious, but if you don’t like coconut flavour, you can use a vegan cream like Oatly.

Sticky Date Pudding + Salted Scotch Spiked Butterscotch {vegan}

An insanely *m-word trigger warning* moist date, cinnamon spiced pudding with a boozy, Scotch spiked salted butterscotch sauce (say that 10 times fast!). Serve steaming hot on a chilly night with a fat scoop of ice-cream.
Servings 9
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins

Ingredients

cake

  • 250 g pitted medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 150 g vegan butter, I use nuttelex buttery
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba/chickpea liquid, whisked to firm peaks
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tbsp extract
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour, or sub gluten-free flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

butterscotch sauce

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 300 ml chilled coconut cream, solid 'cream' part on top of can only
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1/2 tbsp extract
  • 60 g vegan butter,
  • 2 tbsp scotch whisky, optional
  • 1/4 – 3/4 tsp fine sea salt, start with less, add more to taste

Instructions

cake

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Butter and line the base and sides of a 7cm deep, 20-22 cm wide brownie tin/square cake tin with baking paper.
  • Place chopped dates and bicarb soda in a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or so to soften.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add aquafaba in a few stages, beating well until combined and fluffy.
  • Sift over flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Fold through using a large spoon, then fold the date mixture through until just combined.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with no raw batter attached (it may not be clean thanks to the dates!).
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a serving plate.

sauce

  • While the cake is baking, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 2 minutes. Taste for salt, add more if you'd like it.
  • Pierce pudding all over with a skewer. Pour 1/2 cup of hot sauce over pudding. Stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Serve with remaining sauce and ice-cream.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: Baking, Dessert

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