Tartine All Day: Sticky Date Pudding

This week I’m adding this post to the I Blog on Tuesdays linkup hosted by Kylie Purtell. I am aware that currently some people are having a hard time leaving comments on my blog. It is an ongoing issue that I still haven’t worked out because we can’t always replicate the problem. Sometimes comments work fine and sometimes they don’t. If that happens for you, I apologize. We’re still working to resolve it but I really appreciate you coming by to check out my blog regardless – thank you!

I am so excited about the Food52 Cookbook Club‘s book of the month: Tartine All Day! After discovering and loving Elisabeth Prueitt’s first book, Tartine, especially my 6yo daughter’s favorite shortbread recipe, I knew that this book was going to be a hit and it certainly has started out that way. In fact, I was so excited I flipped straight to the index to look through the different recipes in the book and was immediately fixated on the sticky date pudding – Aaron’s favorite dessert – and added it to the menu last week.

The next day I opened my pantry to find that I was out of almond meal – bugger – and needed it for this version of the recipe, so proceeded to use up my leftover cream making hot fudge sauce instead.  Fast forward to Sunday and I’m in between dropping off one kid and picking up another and need to duck into Coles to pick up bread and fruit for school lunches. Run into the mum of one of my daughter’s friends in the baking aisle as I’m looking for inspiration for dessert that night and she says “Sticky Date Pudding is always good…” and my eyes light up and I say, “Thanks! I totally forgotten I was going to try a new recipe and ran out of almond meal.” So quickly picked some up and added it to my basket and away I went about the rest of the afternoon kid taxi services.

This recipe is a bit different from your average sticky date pudding recipe because you use almond meal, cornflour and oat flour (I just grind up rolled oats in my food processor) instead of plain flour. The rest of it is completely familiar – soaking dates in boiling water and then adding bicarb soda, making your basic cake batter with butter and sugar and eggs and then alterating between adding the wet date mixture and the flour mixture which also has ginger, cinnamon and baking powder whisked in. This is baked in a cake tin while you make a toffee sauce with butter, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and salt and interestingly a small bit of lemon juice.

We had this hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I must say that it was by far the nicest sticky date pudding I’ve ever had. Even though it’s Aaron’s favorite dessert, I must be honest and admit that I usually find it a bit stodgy, but with the oat and almond texture and the hint of lemon the dessert was elevated to another level. I would happily make and devour this dessert over and over again.

On reflection the next day it occurred to me that this pudding recipe was wheat free and I made a mental note to definitely make it when our gluten free friend is over next. (I later remembered she’s allergic to oats too so would need to figure out a substitute for that.) Then I started having a bit more of a look at the recipes in Tartine All Day and noticed that this seemed to be a pattern throughout the book and thought this surely couldn’t be a coincidence. So I flicked to the introduction and read through it and wouldn’t you know, this whole book was made to be wheat free! Now I’m even more excited about this book and cannot wait for the chance to cook from it again.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Sticky Toffee Waffles

Aaron’s favourite dessert is sticky date pudding. My favourite dinner is breakfast Put those hands together and this is what you get! I was looking for an appropriate dessert to go along with our bacon and egg casserole a few weeks back and was flicking through the plethora of cookbooks on my bench and when I came across this and saw how it didn’t look very complicated, I knew we had to try it.

Food52 Cookbook Club is going through Deb Perelman’s book Smitten Kitchen Every Day this month and for some reason, I seem to be drawn to more of her sweet items than her savoury meals, although I do endeavour to try at least one savoury item.

The first thing you need to do to make these waffles is soak the dried dates in boiling water for 30 minutes. While that’s happening you make the toffee sauce which is a basic recipe that has butter, cream, brown sugar and vanilla which is cooked out on the stove to make an ooey gooey toffee sauce. Then you process the dates and water with some butter, and eggs and then the dry ingredients and process just until the mixture comes together. Then it’s just a matter of cooking the waffles in the waffle maker as you normally would and plate them up.

These were very, very tasty, and if I had any criticism it would be that they weren’t very crispy on the outside. Deb puts hers in the oven to keep them warm until they’re all made and that may have the effect of crisping them up, but I actually think chucking them in the toaster might do a better job. Or just make them as pancakes. This batter looks like it would make great pancakes, and Deb has some of the best pancake recipes we’ve ever had on her website – our 6 year old who hates anything that resembles normal food, absolutely loves her zucchini bread pancakes.

Regardless of the crispiness, we will definitely make these again because the taste was amazing (and like I said – Aaron’s favourite dessert is sticky date pudding, so we already know we’re on a winner with these).