Thursday, July 21, 2011

Please Don't Tell!

Two-a-days start a week from Monday. The coaches' wives take food up so our men won't starve to death and blow away. :) I have a new recipe I'm going to try to make for them. It has a secret ingredient that I'm guessing they'll never guess!

My Aunt Denise and Uncle David just moved back to Houston from Australia. In Pagosa Springs, they shared with us Aussie deserts. Apparently, they mainly eat two: Pavlova and Sticky Date Pudding.

On the weekends, friends are invited over and treated to a first course of "starters," mainly veggies and dips. The main course of meat and salad follows and then one of the desserts. This is spread out over 3-4 hours. After dessert, coffee is served and finally, chocolate. Then it is time to round up the kids and go home.

They do this EVERY weekend! And they don't spend a lot of time cleaning house for company! It's all about relationships and sharing each other's burdens. Love it!

Of course during football season, my husband is sort of doing this every weekend at the field house, only they serve Allsup's chimichangas, Sonic cherry vanilla root beer, and used to be sunflower seeds, but they are banned for the new turf.

Since having a dinner party isn't going to happen until possibly Christmas (!), I'm going to drop by a pan of Sticky Date Pudding at the field house and watch to see what happens.

First of all, it isn't pudding like Americans visualize. In Australia, pudding is actually cake. eat dates instead of M&M's or other candy. So the "pudding" has teeny bits of chopped dates and hot carmel sauce is poured over each piece and topped with real, sweet, whipped cream. It is divine. I think the guys will love it....if they don't know what they're eating.

Sticky Date Pudding
Ingredients (serves 8)

250g pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups White Wings Self-Raising Flour, sifted
Caramel sauce
1 cup brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 7cm deep, 22cm (base) cake pan.

Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn onto a plate.

Make sauce. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Pierce pudding all over with a skewer. Pour 1/2 cup of warm sauce over warm pudding. Stand for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce.

I don't see the real whipped cream mentioned, but Aunt Denise served it, and it really pushed it over the top!

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