Greek Date Pudding with Metaxa brandy

Posted On December 16, 2006

Filed under Hellenic Food

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Ingredients >
For the Pudding >
750 ml cake flour
250 ml brown sugar
250 ml chopped and stoned dates
125 ml slivered blanched almonds
250 ml boiling water
125 grams unsalted butter
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
3 ml baking powder
3 ml salt
2 eggs, beaten
For the Syrup >
500 ml white sugar
250 ml water
175 ml Metaxa 3 Stars
15 ml unsalted butter
5 ml vanilla essence or 1 sachet vanilla sugar

Method >
The Pudding >
Grease a deep round cake dish that is attractive enough to put on the table. Oven glass is suitable. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Beat in alternately the beaten eggs and the dry ingredients until half the dry ingredients have been used.
Boil water and dates together for 5 minutes until the dates start to break up. Add bicarbonate of soda and remove from the heat. The mixture will froth up. Let cool for a few minutes and then add to the first mixture along with the remaining dry ingredients and the almonds. Mix well to combine.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile make the syrup.

The Syrup > Dissolve the sugar in the water in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat. Add the butter and boil for five minutes until a straw coloured syrup forms, stirring gently if required. Do not leave to boil too long as it will turn to toffee and do not overstir as then it will crystallise. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and the Metaxa. 
Make holes in the baked pudding with a skewer and pour over the warm syrup over the hot cake. Leave to soak for a few minutes before serving.

The pudding can be made in advance and gently reheated. It can also be made in individual serving dishes. Serve with whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream.