Last year, my sister, her husband, Bob, and I started talking about how fun it would be to have a Dickens Dinner around Christmas time. At first, we joked about having a goose and eating only by candlelight, but soon we decided that our Dickens-inspired dinner would include only elements from the classic "A Christmas Carol". As it turns out, goose is quite expensive, so we went with a turkey. My brother-in-law made wassail, and I made a New England Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing, which I will share as soon as I can get a photo. One thing we knew from the start, the English holiday dessert figgy pudding was a must! While I don't know how traditional this figgy pudding is, it had great reviews on Food Network (and was featured on Ultimate Recipe Showdown) so I went with it. I have to say, it was one of the best desserts I've ever had! We all agreed that it was a hit and must return to our annual Dickens Dinner. We served ours with vanilla ice cream. The combination of the warm cake and caramel sauce with the cold ice cream made this dessert even better. I was only able to snap some poor shots last year because it was night time and I was wrangling a 1-year old. I hope to get some better photos this year and will add them later, but I didn't want to sit on this recipe any longer - it's too good not to share!
Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding
For the pudding:
For the pudding:
¾ c. dried pitted dates, chopped
¼ c dried figs, chopped
1 c. water
½ tsp baking soda
3 ½ tablespoons butter, softened
½ c superfine sugar
1 ¼ c. self-rising flour
1 ¼ oz. dark chocolate, grated
Butter for the ramekins
For the sauce:
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. heavy cream
7 tablespoons butter
Vanilla ice cream or whipped heavy cream (optional)
1. Add the dates, dried figs, and water to medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add to a blender to puree.
2. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture, and the chocolate.
3. Pour the batter into buttered ramekins filling halfway. I divided the batter equally into 4 ramekins. (At this point, I wrapped the ramekins in plastic wrap and took them to my sister's house, refrigerated them during dinner, then baked them.)
4. Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes.
5. To prepare the sauce, stir the sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to a boil, then reduce and simmer 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. (I made this at home and took it to my sister's. Then I reheated the sauce prior to spooning it over the cakes).
6. Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve in the ramekin or unmold each cake onto a serving plate. With a paring knife, cut a cross in the center of each cake. Pour the sauce over the pudding and allow it to soak in slightly, then top with more sauce as desired.
7. Serve warm topped with ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!
Source: Adapted from FoodNework.com – Ultimate Recipe Showdown
Note: The original recipe said it serves 4, but the reviews said it made much more so I cut the recipe in half and it was just right for 4 servings (meaning the recipe on FoodNetwork probably makes 8 servings rather than 4!)