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Sticky Date Pudding With Toffee Sauce And Vanilla Bean Ice Cream



Soak the dates in hot water for 1 hour.
Beat together the brown sugar and butter.
Slowly, add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Strain the dates and place in a food processor- process until chunky.
Add the water back to the dates.
Fold this into the butter mixture alternately with the flour.
Pipe into moulds and steam for 15 minutes for small, individual moulds or 30-35 minutes for larger moulds.
If you don't have a steamer, place moulds in a water bath and cover with foil before placing in the oven.
Bake at 180C for approximately 20-30 minutes or until done.
Serve warm with toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream (Haagen Daaz is a good brand if you are not making your own).
Preparation of toffee sauce: Dissolve sugar and water in a saucepan (use a pan that has high sides- when the cream is added, it will bubble up! ).
Use a clean pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystal that remained on the sides of the pan.
Bring to a boil.
Allow to cook (without stirring) until a golden colour is obtained.
Slowly add the cream- be careful of the splashes of caramel and the hot cream.
Allow to return to the boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Refrigerate until needed or allow to cool slightly and serve with the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Preparation of vanilla bean ice-cream: Bring milk and cream to just below boiling point.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
Add some hot milk, mix and pour back onto the remaining hot milk.
Stir continuously, cooking until mix is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Sieve immediately and cool down.
Stir constantly, over a bowl of ice water.
When cool, refrigerate until completely cold.
Pour into ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions, freeze until set.
Remove from ice-cream maker and store in the freezer until required.
Can be stored for 1 week.