Sticky Date and Banana Puddings
- 1 tbsp softened butter, to grease the dishes
- 100g plain white flour, plus 1 tbsp to dust
- 100ml dark rum
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150g pitted dates, chopped
- 85g vegetable suet
- 85g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large free-range eggs
- Toffee sauce
- 200ml double cream
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 75g butter
- A small pinch of salt
- To finish
- 2 small bananas
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
Brush four individual ovenproof dishes (250ml capacity) with the softened butter and dust lightly with flour, shaking out any excess.
Pour the rum and 100ml water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then take off the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda and dates. Pop a lid on the pan and leave to stand for 10–15 minutes to allow the dates to soak up the liquid and cool down.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Tip the dates and liquid into a large bowl and add the flour, suet, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat until evenly combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dishes and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile, to make the toffee sauce, pour the cream into a saucepan and add the brown sugar, butter and salt. Place over a low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil. Simmer for two to three minutes, then remove from the heat.
Peel and thinly slice the bananas. Once you’ve removed the puddings from the oven, arrange the banana slices, overlapping, around the edge of each dish. Sprinkle the banana slices liberally with demerara sugar and run a cook’s blowtorch over them to caramelise the sugar.
Serve the date and banana puddings with the toffee sauce in a jug on the side.