- 180g pitted dates, I used fresh dates, but dried is fine
- 300ml mandarin juice ( orange could be substituted)
- 40g finely chopped crystalized ginger
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 60g soft butter
- 130g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 190g SR flour
- good pinch of Allspice
- 80g chopped pecans
Mandarin Caramel Sauce
- 125 butter
- 120g brown sugar
- 150ml orange juice
- 150ml cream
- dash of cointreau if you like
- good pinch sea salt flakes
Glazed Mandarin Peel
- Peel from 2 mandarins
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
For the Puddings
Heat the dates and mandarin juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. Stir well, and set aside to cool for about half an hour.
Grease the 10 x 125ml dariole moulds well with butter. I also add a small round of baking paper to the bottom to make unmoulding easier. Alternatively you could use a 1.5lt pudding basin.
Preheat the oven to 180C, and boil a kettle of water.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and Allspice and mix to just combine.
Now add the date mixture and the pecans.
Divide among the dariole moulds, filling to 3/4 full.
Cover the puddings loosely with buttered foil, but don’t tie down tightly, as these puddings will rise considerably.
Place in a steamer or a deep baking dish on a rack. Add the kettle of boiling water, to just come under the base of the moulds.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted, comes out with moist crumbs attached.
For the Glazed Peel
- Remove the peel from the mandarins with a vegetable peeler and cut into very fine strips
- Put the peel and water in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes
- Add the sugar an simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes
- Add the vanilla essence
- Cool and store in an airtight container
For the Mandarin Caramel Sauce
Melt the butter with the sugar in a saucepan. Add the mandarin juice and bring to the boil, and add the cream. Boil for about 4 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add a dash of Cointreau if you wish and then a pinch of sea salt flakes.
Warm the puddings and pour over the warmed sauce. Top with some of the glazed peel. A mardarin or orange custard, as served on Masterchef, would be great, or just some vanilla bean icecream or cream.