Sticky Pumpkin Date Pudding with Bourbon Toffee Sauce

Traditionally this is a steamed pudding, but I actually bake it instead. It’s moist enough that it turns out like a soft cake. I made it for a Food Network function one fall and it seemed to be the hit of the dessert plate. You probably won’t be able to eat just one, and you’ll be licking the plate for the last of the sauce!

 

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup chopped and packed dates (75 mL)

1/4 cup chopped and packed black dried figs (60 g)

1 cup water (250 mL)

1 tsp. baking soda (5 mL)

1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée (125 mL)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (175 mL), sifted

1 tsp. cinnamon (5 mL)

1/2 tsp. baking powder (2 mL)

1/4 tsp. ground allspice (1 mL)

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

pinch salt

1/3 cup butter (75 mL), softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (125 mL)

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp. vanilla (2 mL)

grated zest of 1 orange

Bourbon Toffee Sauce
1 tbsp. butter (15 mL)

1/4 cup brown sugar (60 mL)

1/3 cup whipping (35%) cream (75 mL)

2 tbsp. bourbon (25 mL)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter six 6-oz (175 mL) ramekins.

In a medium saucepan, combine dates, figs and water. Cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fruit is soft and most of the water has evaporated. Purée in a blender. Return warm purée to the saucepan and stir in the baking soda. Stir in the pumpkin purée and set aside.

Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and allspice, nutmeg and salt into a bowl or onto a sheet of wax paper.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and orange zest. Add the pumpkin mixture alternately with the flour mixture, beating on low speed until well blended.

Pour batter into ramekins or custard cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly thickened. Stir in cream and bourbon. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes, without stirring, until thick and syrupy.

Flip pudding out onto serving plates and drizzle with warm sauce.

Serves 6

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