What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sticky Date Pudding

You’ll be pleased to know I’m still kicking on with my date frenzy.  It seemed only fitting to top off two healthy(-ish) date recipes with one slightly more decadent option. 

Sticky date pudding is something that I’ve always wanted to try cooking but have never really had enough faith that I could pull it off. It’s another one that I thought had to be done by professionals. I always thought that there would be weird bits of date in the cake itself – but the dates just sort of dissolve into delicious nothingness. 

And the sauce!  Oh the sauce is the best bit.  Who knew caramel toffee sauce was so easy to make?  Not me that’s for sure.  I think you would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t enjoy this dessert.  Make it, please.


1 ½ cups chopped dates
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons bi-carb soda
90g low fat margarine
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour, sifted
½ cup self-raising flour, sifted

¾ cup light evaporated milk
½ cup soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon low fat margarine
1 ½ teaspoon corn flour 


Preheat oven to 180°C.  Grease a round cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Place the dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the dates are soft. Mix in the vanilla and bi-carb soda and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Whisk the margarine and sugar together. Whisk in the egg and egg white, and then the flours.  Add the date mixture and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture into prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until cooked a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate.

In a small saucepan heat the evaporated milk, brown sugar and margarine until almost boiling. Combine the corn flour with 1 teaspoon of water and gradually add to the sauce, stirring continually until sauce thickens. Serve up the slices of cake and add the sauce and a few big spoonfuls of ice cream.  Delicious.

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