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.

Throwback Thursday: Shortbread from Tartine

Throwback again to September 2017 when Food52 Baking Club was baking from the Tartine Bakery cookbook. I found out my daughter loves shortbread recently and so happily obliged by making the simple 5 ingredients recipe from this book that I saw many in the Facebook group had tried.

I liked how this recipe called for cornflour as a means to softer shortbread because I like my cookies melt in your mouth texture. I also like how this recipe is cut into little logs rather than big wedges like traditional Scottish shortbread. I was concerned though that I didn’t have the right size baking pan, so I just used a standard Australian brownie/slice pan and it seemed to work fine. But there was no way this was going to cut into 60.  The picture in the book did not show bite size pieces. I cut mine into 3 rows of 11 and they were still quite small.

The recipe was so easy to put together. Cream the butter until it is super soft, then add salt, then the combined flour and cornflour, then lastly the sugar. Press it into the lined baking tin and bang it in the low temperature preheated oven (mine is 125C but it cooks hot – most would need 150C). Bake until lightly browned then sprinkle some sugar over the top to give it a nice coating. Cut into bars while still warm to the touch.

If you line the baking tin like I did then you avoid the hassle of removing and destroying the first piece of shortbread because you can lift the whole thing out on the baking paper.

My young girl was so impressed that Mommy made her shortbread and quickly sampled a piece, then another, and another. I read some complaints that the cornflour altered the taste of the shortbread but I didn’t find that at all. However I didn’t shake off the excess sugar on top so that may have masked the flavor in the end result. I am so glad to have a shortbread recipe and will be making these whenever I need a quick cookie for dessert.

Throwback Thursday: Zucchini & Orange Marmalade Tea Cake from Tartine

Throwback to September 2017, when the Food52 Baking Club was going through Tartine Bakery’s book. I could not get my hands on it, despite it being in our local library’s catalogue, so I ended up spending a lot of time just drooling over what other people were making.

The library actually had pulled it from the collection and chucked it in their annual book sale, I guess because they’d decided it wasn’t worth having on the shelf anymore. I ended up buying it for $2! Only trouble was that it was missing 2 pages. Flash forward to yesterday when I spotted the Kindle book on sale for $5. So now I’ve got two versions of it!

Anyhow, we’ve been graciously given so many zucchinis this month, so I’ve been starting to get creative as to how to use them so we don’t get sick of the old faithful recipes. And I remembered a lot of people raving about this tea cake, loaf cake, quick bread, whatever you want to call it, so I thought it would be worth the risk since it was a cooler day to give it a try.

This batter was crazy easy to put together. I used my stand mixer, even though I really could have done it by hand. You beat eggs, oil, sugar and marmalade together, then add in zucchini and salt and then your dry ingredients and toasted walnuts. I toasted them while I was grating the zucchini as the oven preheated. I sprayed my loaf pan and then poured in the batter and sprinkled on a bit of sugar for a nice, sweet top crust. In the oven for 70 minutes, and voila!

The flavour combination was so unusual to me when I first saw it, but having tasted it, boy oh boy, is it a winner! I will definitely be making this again and again when I have zucchinis on hand. Aaron asked if I could make sure that the coworker who gave us only some of the zucchinis we’ve been given could try it and I thought it would be cool to buy the mini loaf pan I saw on sale in January   at David Jones to make miniature versions so he gets a whole cake rather than a portion of a slice. So when I say making it again and again, I mean I’ll be doing it again this weekend even!

Peek-a-boo!