Sticky Date Pudding is popular any time of the year however, on a chilly winter night it just can’t be beaten.
Line a springform tin with greased aluminium foil to prevent the pudding from seeping out while it's cooking.
Boil all the ingredients together for five minutes or until the mixture goes brown and thickens slightly – be careful because it can boil over the side.
Pour half the sauce into the lined and greased cake tin and keep the other half for later.
Sticky Date Pudding:
Mix the dates and bicarb soda together.
Pour the boiling water over the dates and let sit for 10 minutes to soften the dates.
Combine the sugar, butter and vanilla bean and whisk until creamy.
Add in the eggs, then the date mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and then fold through into the date mixture.
Add the chocolate buttons right at the end.
Pour into your cake tin over the top of the sauce, which creates the beautiful sticky texture.
Bake at 180 degrees for ½ an hour then turn down the heat to 160 degrees and cook for a further hour.
Test with a skewer then let cool for an hour on the bench before turning out.
Poach the strawberries while the pudding is cooking.
Red Wine Poached Strawberries:
Take the stems off the strawberries.
Caramelise the sugar by putting it intoa saucepan and add enough water to cover the sugar to stop it burning.
Cook on medium heat – it should take about five minutes to caramelise.
Turn the heat off and add the red wine and cinnamon sticks and stir – be careful as it can spit.
Turn the heat back on and cook for 10 minutes.
Pour over strawberries and let them infuse for about ½ an hour.
Heat a slice of the pudding in the microwave for about a minute with the sauce and serve with double cream and red wine strawberries.
It's also great with ice cream or strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar and sugar.