Hellooo – crikey I know it’s been a while but I’m baaaaack! (I haven’t literally been away, but y’know). So today’s recipe is just in time for a weekend when the evening air has a bit of a nip, and we can start to justify some good, calorie-laden sweet and sticky pud – in this case ginger, date self-saucing pudding studded with nubbly walnuts – the addition of the spicy ginger and texture from the nuts is such a bloody pleasing combination. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream (and for my Dad, pouring cream) and enjoy. (This is a recipe I first put together and shot for the good people at Dish magazine last year – a total classic).
OK – so where have I been? Erm just working and, most unlike me, taking things a bit more quietly during the day for a change. Usually I work at such a frenetic pace, it has been something of a revelation – and has made me feel ready to put my foot on the accelerator again. My evenings have been contrastingly super busy and fun (not in the blokey-dating department – hello gorgeous, tall, intelligent, funny men and unicorns – where are you guys?), but with pub quiz, Spanish lessons, movies and dinners with friends. One notable outing was to Al Brown’s Burning Lamb which was amazing – the most Kiwi thing I have ever been to, with Dick Frizzel painting, Dave Dobbyn performing and Al presiding over lamb and salmon cooked over fires…seriously if they do the event again, I’ll definitely be back (thanks Claire for taking me along!)
The darling men/boys are all well – the intrepid Henry is getting organised for his woofing trip to Italy (organic farming stays) and will be here for a pit-stop before he heads away in April. I can’t wait to see him, and just hang out for a bit, I know that Will and I will be following his adventures avidly while he is away. Meanwhile Rich has started his final year at Vic after working hard through most of the uni break, as always with a keen eye on local (and international) politics and the environment. I am so bloody lucky to have their contributions in my life, I value their opinions (and fabulous music suggestions), outlook, humour and questions equally – thank God for Facebook messenger allowing me to still feel like a mum-from-a-distance. One of the most exciting things I have ever done is plan (poorly let’s face it – I f*cked up the dates monumentally to start with) a trip to Europe with the boys in July. Hoob and I are going to meet Pog in London and jump on a flight to Croatia. We’ll spend time in Hvar and Dubrovnik before farewelling Henry back to London while Rich and I carry on to Florence and Rome. I can’t quite believe it is actually happening, even though it is locked and loaded…no doubt it will seem more real as the time approaches. (Any hot tips or brilliant advice for things to do/see/eat in those places would be hugely appreciated!)
Right thats it from me – woah too much to say today – make the pud, you won’t be sorry…
300g dates, halved 1 teaspoon baking soda 100grams softened butter 1 tablespoon for greasing the dish ¾ cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 ¼ cups self raising flour 2 tablespoons ground ginger 1 cup walnut halves topping: 2 tablespoons butter ¾ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger ½ cup cream Grease a 25cm x 28cm baking dish and preheat the oven to 180˚C. Put the dates in a non-reactive bowl, sprinkle over baking soda and pour over ¾ cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve then leave to sit for half an hour. Put the dates and soaking water in a food processor and whiz to form a thick date paste then tip out into a bowl and set aside. Put the butter and brown sugar in the food processor and whiz until pale and fluffy, add eggs one at a time and pulse to combine. Add the flour and ginger and pulse briefly then add the date paste and nuts and pulse again until all incorporated. Pour out into the prepared tin, and flatten out the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Put the butter, brown sugar, ginger and grated ginger in a jug. Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and whisk to combine. Add cream and whisk again. Pour over the back of a tablespoon all over the pudding and bake for 40 minutes. Sit for 5 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.