Medjool and Deglet Noor

 

In the contest of sexiest fruit names, dates are the undisputed victors. The different varieties of dates read like a lingerie catalogue. If ever a food could evoke such raptorous sensual overtones, such eroticism-this is it. Although dates are readily available they retain-like all dried and candied fruits-that element of luxury which comes with all things festive and celebratory. It seems that in food history any general celebration has warranted the use of copious amounts of dried fruit-in Christmas cake or pudding, wedding cake, Simnel cake, mince pies etc. It seems only fitting at this time of year-when very little fresh fruit is available (apart from the worthy apple of course) to make use of the wonderful array of dried fruits so easy to come by. And it doesn’t get much better than a good date. Rich, chewy, toffee-like and sticky, a date is always a treat. So here is a couple of marvellous date recipes-though they come with a word of warning-Beware the Bowels. That is all.  

Sticky Toffee Pudding

FOR THE CAKE:

500g pitted dates

250g butter

300ml Earl Grey Tea

325g soft brown sugar

4 eggs

225g self-raising flour

FOR THE SAUCE:

200g soft brown sugar

150g butter

200ml cream

First put the kettle on duckie. Make the tea, strain it and pour it into a saucepan with the dates and a teaspoon of bicarb. Simmer for about 20 mins. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs in gradually. Puree the date mixture and mix gently into the batter (when cool!). Fold in the flour, put in a greased baking dish and bake at 180 for about 45 mins until just set. Meanwhile get on with the sauce. Melt butter and sugar over low heat until dissolved. Then turn up heat and boil for a few minutes until it looks fudgy, then quickly pour in the cream and beat off the heat. When the cake is just cooked, you can pour the sauce over and return to the oven for 10 mins to make it stickier in it’s own sauce, or you can heat both up sepearately and then serve together. Serve with cold thick cream. Love (and fibre) in a bowl!

 

Date Slices

These are delightful wee things. The love-child of a flap-jack and a crumble. Utterly delcious and worryingly moreish-eat with a cup of scorching tea-you need the burn to snap you out of the sugar coma.

50g plain flour

50g self-raising wholemeal flour

100g soft brown sugar

150g oats

150g butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

pinch salt 

250g pitted dates

knob butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method

Grease and line a small square cake/brownie tin. Preheat oven to 180. Put dates, maple syrup and knob of butter in saucepan with 1 cup of water and boil for about 10 mins. Puree this mixture and set aside. In a food processor blend the butter, flours, sugar, syrup, oats and salt until it looks like crumble topping. Press half of this down into the tin. Spread the date mixture over the top, then sprinkle the rest of the crumble mix over the top, leaving it rough. Bake for about 30 mins until golden brown.

  

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1 Comment

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One response to “Medjool and Deglet Noor

  1. Meals on Wheels

    Love the dates, love the recipes, love the way you write..

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