Confession: I hate Pinterest sometimes. Yep I said it. Honestly I would say I loathe it sometimes. I appreciate the sharing abilities of the website but it has killed our self-esteem. My friends and family members love pinterest; you probably love pinterest too but I am slowly getting more annoyed by it.
As a Young adult (I think that is what they call the 22 ish demographic), the pins you would make you believe that all of us are looking for a fast paced, valencia filtered, alternative urban lifestyle. Riding around on vintage restored bikes, drinking out of Manson jars and cutting our sourdough organic bread on sustainably sourced wood chopping broad while listening to latest alternative pod cast on a ipad seems to be the latest “cool” trend. Oh did a I mention everything needs to be made from rusted metal or contained in a wooden vintage box with little dainty flowers?
On pintertest, every child’s birthday needs to have a dessert table or party bar now with a theme. Many cute and elaborate desserts decorate the tables plus the full decked out room with hanging garlands and the puffy balls of paper. It doesn’t matter whether or child is turning 1 or 9 it seems like any birthday is an excuse to bring out the Martha in every mother. Every party has to be better, cuter, more coordinated and colour coded than the next one.
I am not even going to go into the way the pinned desserts and meals that are a fusion of everything and anything. Cronuts; Pizza stuffed with cheese and bacon; pasta which is made from a squash? And the worst of all Ice cream made from a frozen banana (sorry folks as a REAL ice cream lover; I passionally dislike this) has cast a shadow of shame if you are to serve up a normal meal for dinner or dessert.
Pinterest has made our normal and perfectly daggy and plain lives seem like a sin. Have you seen the hash tag Pinterest fail? Or the “nailed it” memes? Yes we may laugh at them but they come at someone else’s expense. I am pretty sure we have all had pin envy at any one of these; we want a to be able to DIY birthday with a huge decorated cake table; we want that rustic table with organic grown produce and at 3am in the morning we defiantly want that deep fried taco with ice cream.
What ever happened to the days when a child’s birthday was a one cake, a game of newspaper wrapped pass the parcel, more lollies, red cordial and chips than should be legally purchased; and everything from the invitations to the cutlery was from the super market?
When I could eat and drink instant noodles out of piggy porcelain cup instead of jar? I never know what happen to those days but I miss them.
It is not trendy to so pudding now but this classic English dessert is comforting for any weary and broken down heart. Especially since it is almost no fail as the base is a dense, soft cake; so it very hard to over bake. The water bath is a necessary hurdle here. It is not hard but this simple trick help to re-create the steam pudding texture in the oven.
I find it magical when you cook the dates to a sticky puree but what is more special is the baking part. The aroma that wafts from the pot reminds you of those old fashion kitchens who use real butter, full fat milk and do not do any of that low sugar crap. I am sucker for anything buttery.
If you think you have to English to find a good pudding; never fear! This recipe is adapted to the normal cook’s kitchen, where you can use whatever you have on hand to make it special. The base of course is date but I see no problem if you use figs or prunes here. I also added chocolate chips, switched the spices to an all spice mix and subbed almond meal for some of the flour. As you can see pudding is very forgiving when it comes to add ins.
SO use you imagination and create your own flavours here. Personal favourite combinations are hazelnut meal, milk choc and fig pudding or a dried mango pudding base with coconut flour and salted macadamias.
The sauce is completes this pudding; so do not forget it! The brown sugar, butter and golden syrup base is the ultimate scent in the kitchen. I recommend you make it 15 to 20 minutes before your guest arrive as the smell is one of the most welcoming scents you can ever create.
Buttery, old fashion, warm, sticky. ALL these things are what need after a #pinterestfail.
Sticky date, choc chip puddings with Amaretto butter scotch sauce
210g pitted dried dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g salted butter, in 1cm cubes
135 light brown sugar
1 teaspoon All spice
½ teaspoon baking powder
100g self rising whole meal flour
50g almond meal
50g finely chopped dark chocolate (70%)
Butterscotch sauce from Nigella Lawson
Pre heat oven to 160C. Butter and line with baking paper 8, 250ml ramekins or metal moulds.
Place date and water in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to boil. Once boiled stir in bi carb and leave to cool.
Place butter and sugar in a stand mixer and cream till light brown. Add your date puree and mix well combined. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in self-raising flour, baking powder, almond meal and chocolate until combined. Spoon mixture in to prepared moulds, filling to 2/3 full.
Place moulds in to a bath of boiling water and transfer to oven. Bake in the puddings for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer draws clean. Cool in tins for 10 minutes before serving.
Prepare the butter scotch sauce according to Nigella Lawson’srecipe. Once warm stir in 50 mls of almond liquor.
Serve puddings on warm with sauce. Sprinkle with toasted nuts and choc chips for extra comfort.