Sticky date banana pudding
serves 8| prep 15 mins | cooking 1 hour 5 mins
200g medjool dates, pitted and chopped 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 125g butter, chopped, at room temperature 100g (½ cup) caster sugar 2 eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 large ripe bananas, well mashed 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour 2 bananas, extra, halved lengthways Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
100g butter, chopped 160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar 300ml pouring cream 1 Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Grease a 1.75L (7 cup) ovenproof dish. 2 Place the dates and 125ml ( 12⁄ cup) water in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the bicarb and set aside to cool. 3 Use electric beaters to beat the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and mashed banana. Sift the flour over the batter and add the softened date mixture. Gently fold until combined. 4 Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the surface. Arrange the extra banana, cut side up, on top of the batter, pressing in gently. Bake the pudding for 45-60 minutes or until the centre is firm to a gentle touch. 5 Meanwhile, for the caramel sauce, place the butter, brown sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. 6 Serve the pudding warm, drizzled with the caramel sauce. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.