I normally make individual puddings but you can also make one big one.


  • 150 g butter (at room temperature, plus extra for greasing)
  • 175 g stoned dates (preferably medjool)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175 g light muscovado sugar
  • 175 g self-raising flour (plus extra for greasing)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • for the caramel sauce:
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 250 ml cream
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla pod (split with seeds scraped out)
  • fresh mint sprigs, to decorate
  • whipped cream or toffee ice cream, to serve


  • I normally make individual puddings but you can also make one big one. This quantity will fill a 25 x 18cm (10 x 7in) buttered non-stick baking tin that is at least 2.5cm (1in) deep. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch. If you are worried about the puddings sticking to the dariole moulds, try lining the bottom of each one with a circle of non-stick baking parchment. This will guarantee perfect results every time.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and lightly butter and flour 8 x 150ml (1/4 pint) dariole moulds.
  • Place the dates in a pan with 300ml (1/2 pint) water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda until the mixture stops foaming.
  • Leave to cool a little, then tip into a food processor or liquidiser and blend for 2 minutes to a thick purée.
  • Place the butter and muscovado sugar in a bowl and cream together for a few minutes until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer.
  • Add one tablespoon of flour and then slowly add the beaten egg, beating well to combine.
  • Fold in the remaining flour with a metal spoon and finally fold in the date purée with the vanilla extract.
  • Divide the pudding mixture among the prepared dariole moulds and arrange on a baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
  • When the puddings are cooked, remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the caramel sauce, place the caster sugar in a pan with 300ml (1/2 pint) of water.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Stir in the cream, butter and vanilla seeds until well combined, then continue to cook gently for another 8-10 minutes until shiny and thickened.
  • To serve, arrange the puddings on serving plates. Pour over some of the caramel sauce, then flash under a grill until bubbling, if liked.
  • Add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and serve the remainder of the caramel sauce separately, hot or cold.

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