It’s so moreish and delicious everyone will want a slice.
For everyone! Because firstly, it’s so moreish and delicious everyone will want a slice, and secondly, it’s free of dairy, eggs, soy and nuts (also making it vegan), and you can happily sub in gluten-free flour. It’s one of those desserts you can make no matter who you're feeding, and without any compromise on texture or flavour – promise. This recipe might look on the longer side, but I promise it’s really quick and easy – my sister Ellen couldn’t believe ‘that’s it?!’ when she tested it for me, and proclaimed it her new go-to entertaining recipe.
Hands-on time: 10 mins
Total slow cooker time: 5 hours + 10 mins standing
- 2 cups (280 g) pitted dates
- 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal*
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ cup (110 g) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil + extra for greasing
- 1 ½ teaspoons mixed spice
- 1 cup (150 g) plain flour**
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 L pudding basin or small casserole dish(preferably with lid) that fits inside slow cooker
- Place dates, water, flaxseed meal and bicarbonate of soda in a high-powered blender or food processor, stir to combine. Stand for 5 minutes.
- Add sugar, oil and spice. Process until well combined and dates are chopped but still a little chunky, 5–10 seconds.
- Add flour and baking powder, process on low speed until just combined. Fold any leftover flour in with a spatula.
- Grease a 2 L pudding basin with olive oil using a pastry brush. Pour in date mixture. Give it a couple of bangs on the bench to release any air bubbles. Cover pudding with lid or foil, sealing tightly.
- Place inside slow cooker, then add water until pudding basin is two-thirds submerged. Cover and cook for 5 hours on high.
5 HOURS LATER
- Check a skewer inserted in the pudding comes out more or less clean – not covered in raw mixture. If needed, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes on high.
- Once cooked, remove pudding basin from slow cooker and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate.It’s warm and ready to serve! Cut thick slices and serve with cream, gooey caramel sauce (page 173), poached pears (page 39), ice cream or fresh strawberries . . . or a combination. Just as good served cold, so don't stress if you’re struggling to get the timing exactly right – you can make it up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
*Flaxseed meal is simply flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) milled down to a fine powder. You can buy it pre-milled, but honestly, it’s often not fresh and frankly not very nice – it’s best to mill your own as needed, or mill a couple of tablespoons at a time and store in the fridge or freezer. Use a high-powered blender or coffee grinder, and remember 1 tablespoon of whole flaxseeds will come out as less than 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal.
**Use gluten-free flour for a gluten-free option.
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