This classic English pudding is made with dates, which
gives it a nice sweetness, baked into a dense cake that's drizzled with
caramel—special enough to be served for company and simple enough to be enjoyed
after a weeknight dinner.
(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups
sifted all-purpose flour plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups
chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces)
1 1/4 cups
(packed) light brown sugar
(1/2 stick) unsalted butter
teaspoon vanilla extract
cream or vanilla ice cream
A 6-cup Bundt pan or 6
one-cup Bundt pan molds or 6 Individual 4 oz. ramekins
oven to 350 °. Butter and flour Bundt pan. Bring dates and 11/4 cups water
to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat;
stir in baking soda (mixture will become foamy). Set aside; let cool.
cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric
mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend
(mixture will be grainy). Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of flour
mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1
egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into mold. Place the
ramekins, if using in a water bath for even baking.
a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40 –45 minutes. Let
cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack. DO
AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room
sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium
heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 3
minutes. Remove from heat; stir in brandy, if using, and vanilla. DO
AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Rewarm gently before using.