The perfect winter pud – warming, comforting and rich.
300 grams pitted dates, roughly chopped
100 grams butter, diced
1 cup water
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup treacle
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups plain flour
2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
½ cup roughly chopped crystallised ginger
100 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped (72% cocoa)
Toffee Sauce, to serve (see recipe below)
Equipment: 5-cup capacity baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Bring the dates, butter, water, brown sugar, treacle, salt and ground ginger to the boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Use a potato masher to crush everything together to form a rough paste. Set aside for 20 minutes, then stir in the baking soda. It will froth up. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder and add to the warm date mixture along with the eggs. Fold everything together, making sure there are no pockets of flour in the batter. Stir in the ginger and half the chocolate. Pour into the baking dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining chocolate, then bake for about 25 minutes, or until just firm to the touch. Serve warm with the Toffee Sauce and lashings of ice cream or cream.
1 cup brown sugar
120 grams butter, diced
⅔ cup cream
Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken a little. If making ahead, reheat to serve.