A Mouthful of Warm, Sticky… Pudding

The cold of the winter comes along and we all put on those extra few kilos. Our jeans feel a little snugger and our layers of sweaters, cardigans and down jackets create the illusion of mere heavy clothing. But we know this not to be the case.

Under all those garments is actually a little flab. Borne of the deliciousness of hot chips and countless hot chocolates with marshmallows, our fat cells generate warm within our beings and a little thing known as comfort. Whether it is Netflix or the latest episode of ANU Stalkerspace’s “ANUSA Elections 2015”, fulfilling soul-food can make even the most nightmarish feelings dissipate, although they mightn’t be the best solution for our weight loss dreams.

Now, I do think I speak for many people when I say that, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, because I really don’t. The beauty of the cooler months is that we can eat whatever inspiriting, warming food we want without having any need to show off sculpted arms or chiselled abs (not that I have either of these even in the summer, anyway). You can enjoy that morsel of food for what it is truly worth.

With the wane of the summer sun and the fortunate exodus of footy shorts and thongs, so also dies the infamous adage, “A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”. Comfortable in knowing that winter is meant for indulging, I can share with you one of my winter secrets – my Sticky Date Pudding.

Puddings, in all their various forms, are the ultimate Western wintery dessert. Chocolate or bread, fruity or rich, puddings tend to bring on all those warm, fuzzy feelings necessary on a bitter winter’s eve. Served with ice cream, the juxtaposition of warm and luscious with cold and velvety is a sensation on the tongue that will cause you to salivate. My Sticky Date definitely will.

Sticky Date Pudding

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 15 muffin-sized puddings
Cost: Low

Ingredients
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup water
¼ t bi-carb soda
2 cups self-raising flour
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil

Method
1. Combine water and dates in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat and add bi-carb soda. Stand for 5 minutes.
3. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the date mixture, sugar, egg, milk and oil.
4. Divide evenly into muffin trays.
5. Cook for 20 minutes at 190°C or until a skewer can be removed cleanly.

Butterscotch Sauce

Time: 5 minutes
Yield: Enough to smother puddings
Cost: Low

Ingredients
60 g butter, cubed
300 mL cream
1½ cups brown sugar

Method
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes on a moderately low heat – be careful not to burn the bottom