Sticky Date Puddings – the sole thought of them sets my mouth to watering… Warm, rich and squidgy cakes drizzled with a velvety caramel sauce and normally a scoop of ice cream. Thankfully they seem to be an Australian favourite and can be found in most restaurants in Melbourne. Despite this it has taken me a long time to try them. I was putting them against the likes of Christmas pudding and Sticky Toffee pudding which I personally am always on the fence about so was hesitant to try one.
From day one working at Il Gambero I have eyed their pudding going out to customers with the plates returning licked clean. Our sticky date looks like a wobbly steaming brown sugar muffin, sitting in a sea of butterscotch sauce served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Finally after months of watching it go out I decided enough was enough, it was time and ordered it for my dinner. I took one bite and immediately joined the sticky date pudding fan club. Pure comfort food and my favourite dessert combo – hot dessert with a side kick of cold.
My next foray into sticky date pudding was at the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market. Rocco Tripodi makes Sticky Date Sundaes which are unspeakably good. Four of us each got one and fell into a contended silence as we took our first few bites trying to get all the layers onto one spoonful. Vanilla bean gelato, caramel sauce, a layer of warm flavourful sticky date pudding and enough whip cream to shake a stick at, topped with a single date will leave you on Cloud 9 but stuffed to the brim. Especially if you are like me and don’t want any to go to waste.
The latest goûter was at Flinders Bakehouse on Mornington Peninsula. I had been there once before because of their jam stuffed donuts which were awesome but I saw their sticky date and still on the high from my Sundae couldn’t resist. This one comes in the form of a generous freshly made slice of cake. The caramel sauce acts as an icing which melts down the sides of the cake when it is warmed. Perfect to warm up our bones after an ocean breezy walk at Cape Schanck. A cup of tea, an open fire and a warm sticky date pudding – a recipe to warm any heart.
If these three are anything to go by I see many more Sticky Dates in my future. The next step will be to try to find a good recipe to take home with me to share a new Australian dessert classic.