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Sticky date pudding

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Winter time is pudding time, and few puddings are more universally loved than the sticky date. This one is made in a slow cooker with coconut sugar and maple syrup.

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The recipe comes from new cookbook Slow Cooker Vegetarian, by Australian food writer and stylist Katy Holder, who proves that slow cookers aren’t just for stews and casseroles. Published this month, it includes recipes for everything from soups, curries and lasagne, to triple chocolate brownies.

For this recipe, you need a small slow cooker with a capacity no greater than 4 litres (16 cups).

Sticky date pudding

Serves 8
Preparation time: 10 minutes (+ 20 minutes soaking)
Cooking time: 3 hours

Ingredients

240g (1 ½ cups) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
80g butter, plus extra for greasing
80g (½ cup) coconut sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup
80ml (1/3 cup) light olive oil
2 eggs
225g (1 ½ cups) self-raising flour
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Caramel sauce
125ml (½ cup) maple syrup
80g (½ cup) coconut sugar
100g butter
¼ teaspoon salt

Method

Grease the slow cooker and line with baking paper. Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda into a heatproof bowl. Pour over 375ml (1 ½ cups) of boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and maple syrup until thick and pale. Beat in the oil, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the date mixture, followed by the flour, until just combined. Spoon into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours.

To make the caramel sauce, put the maple syrup and sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until dissolved. Add the butter and salt, stirring to melt. Once the butter has melted, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes until thickened slightly.

Carefully remove the pudding and serve with the caramel sauce and ice cream.

Image and recipe from Slow Cooker Vegetarian by Katy Holder, Murdoch Books, RRP $29.99. Photography by Alan Benson.

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