Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sticky Date, Ginger & Macadamia Nut Puddings with Butterscotch Sauce

So this is the first recipe with my homemade Glace Ginger. When I first started making these last night I could never have dreamed that they would turn out so wonderful. They are rich and decadent. They have that gingerbread smell to them. These are not for the faint hearted, they are a meal in themselves. I think the next ones need to be made in smaller ramekins or make one large one and cut into small slices. It was a struggle between the heart and the tummy to finish one. The butterscotch sauce was heaven and complimented the puddings so well. I have taken a good old Women's Weekly recipe, tarted it up and enriched it in a very decadent way. So for all of you in need of comfort like I am at the moment, please take comfort in one of my gorgeous puddings.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of dried dates
  • 1/4 cup of glace ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
  • 50g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of macadamia nuts

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 300ml of cream
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 75g butter, chopped

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease 4 medium sized ramekins or 8 small ramekins with butter. Cut circles of greaseproof paper and place in the bottom of the ramekins. Line each ramekin with a single layer of macadamias, reserve the rest for stirring through the pudding batter.

Combine dates, ginger, soda and boiling water in a heat proof jug and allow to stand for 5 Min's so the ingredients soften. Then using a stick blender, process until nearly smooth. Then add the eggs and blend a little more. Fold in the self raising flour and macadamia nuts. Fill ramekins 3/4 of the way with the batter. Place in your preheated oven and cook for 30 Min's. Stand for 10 Min's before turning onto plates.

To make the butterscotch sauce. Stir cream, butter and sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until the sauce is hot and smooth. Pour your hot butterscotch sauce over your puddings and your done. I served it with some cream to cut through the sweetness. Next time I think some marscapone would pair very well with the exceptionally sweet puds. That tangy sourness would make a wonderful contrast to the sweetness. As warned this is not for the faint hearted it is rich, it is sweet, it is everything a winter pud should be. Comforting isn't it?

Friday, 18 April 2008

Glace Ginger

I have had a brain freeze over the last couple of weeks as to what my next recipe is going to be. I have been fretting. I don't know why? I suppose all the job hunting has put me in a very focused place. I am only in the last 5 days getting interviews for jobs I applied for 3-4 weeks ago. I don't know what is happening with the job market at the moment. It seems to be very different than the last time I actually had to go out and apply for one. I have kinda just fell into the roles I have had. So this is new territory for me. All the waiting kinda makes you feel sick and nervous at the same time. The interviews are now coming through thick and fast which is making my head spin. So cross your fingers for me that I get the one that I want.

Sorry I have digressed. Back to the ginger. I was walking through the supermarket the other day talking to myself, saying I have to come up with something soon that is worthy. Then I saw the most beautiful looking hands of young ginger. I picked one up and here we are. This is the first recipe and there will be a couple more ginger recipes to proceed it. One involves macadamia nuts, dates and of course the glace ginger, but you will have to wait for the next post.

I thought I would try my hand at making glace ginger and I am glad I did. It is actually very easy and personally tastes so much fresher and spicier than the jar variety. I didn't use a recipe, I just kind of winged it myself. The end result is wonderful. Not to thick, not to thin, very spicy, sweet and fresh.

  • 1 Hand of ginger, peeled and julienned (aka thin strips)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup or corn syrup

On a low heat in a heavy based saucepan place the water and sugar. When the sugar has dissolved completely add the ginger. Allow to simmer gently until the ginger goes translucent and the liquid has reduced by half. This took me about 45 Min's. Then I added the glucose syrup, simmered for another 15 Min's and your done. Allow to cool slightly and store in a sterilized jar. It makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.

It is really lovely to make yourself, so much fresher. I think it will make a real difference flavour wise to the pudding I am making next. Go on give it a try :)