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- Prep time:
- 20 min, plus 20 minute soaking
- Cook time:
- 30 min
Fiona Cairns brings everyones favourite pudding bang up to date with a salted caramel butter cream topping. Make your own caramel or buy a shop bought version.
Method1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the paper cases into a 12 hole cupcake tin.
2. In a heatproof bowl, pour 180ml boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for 20 minutes. With a fork, gently break up the dates and stir in the vanilla.
3. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating between each addition, slipping in 1 tbsp flour about halfway through to prevent curdling. Lastly, fold in the remaining flour and then the date mixture.
4. Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed with a finger. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
5. For the caramel Dissolve the sugar and 60ml water in a small, heavy-based pan over a gentle heat, then increase the heat to a boil. Wait a few minutes, but do not stir - watch it like carefully and as soon as it changes to a caramel colour (like strong tea) and starts to thicken, remove immediately from the heat. Stand well back and add the cream.
6. Be very careful as it is searing hot and it may splatter a little. It will react, or ‘seize’, and you may think it has gone wrong; it hasn’t. Keep stirring, adding the salt and the vanilla. Leave until stone cold - if using shop bought caramel sauce, such as dulce de leche, simply mix it with the salt and vanilla.
7. For the buttercream: Cream the butter and icing sugar for at least 5 minutes with an electric mixer and add the caramel or dulce de leche if using.
8. Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe it onto the cakes, or spread it on with a palette knife.
- 180 g dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 80 g unsalted butter
- 150 g muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the caramel
- 125 g caster sugar
- 80 ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream