June 3, 2006

Sticky Date Cupcakes

I never really liked eating dates just as they are. Personally, I find them dry and visually unappealing. When I was younger; I used to think they looked like cockroaches! I have been told many stories of delicious sticky date puddings, watched them being eaten on tv and read about the pudding's humble beginnings in magazine articles, however I was only finally convinced; a year ago...that it is an extremely indulgent and dense pudding smothered in smooth toffee with a unique twist to it's sweetness. Although I must admit, its sweetness can be overdone with too much toffee/caramel/sugar in the recipe.
A classmate of mine; Faiz, told me about a quaint little cafe in Paddington which he thought was marvelous. I still remember how he said; "you MUST try the sticky date pudding, you MUST! It's the best!". Convinced by the look on his face as he said it; I popped over to Mickey's that weekend! It was great, my fellow diners and I ordered seconds! It changed my mind about disliking dates and many other nasty ideas I had about them.
I just had to recreate them on my own! With a couple of helpful tips from the 500 cupcakes book by Fergal Connolly; I came up with my own delicious cupcake-y version of the great Sticky Date Pudding.

6oz self raising flour
31/2oz brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
100g chopped dates

3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup boiling water

Microwave syrup ingredients on high for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Should be a slightly thin liquid mixture.

Sift flour into a large bowl and add sugar. In a seperate bowl, beat milk+ egg+ vanilla+butter until pale and smooth. Add to dry ingredients and stir till combined. Add chopped dates and distribute evenly into batter. Spoon pudding mixture into greased muffin tray. Fill each cup till 3/4 full. Bake in 170 degree preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Top's should be golden and crisp.
Pierce several holes on the surface of the cake and slowly drizzle in prepared syrup. Let syrup absorb. Each cupcake should have at least 3 tsp's of syrup. Remove from muffin trays and invert to serve.

No comments: