[As I am currently on holiday, this is an edited re-posting of one of the first traditional South African desserts that I ever posted on this blog. ]
It’s a fact – South Africans do like their brandy. Not so much the sort that is meticulously aged and then consumed in tiny sips from beautiful blown-glass balloons. No, we seem to have more of a taste for the cheaper stuff (our consumption of Klipdrift is legendary…), preferably mixed with Coca-cola. In fact, I rememebr my father and mother, who were sophisticated in their tastes in practically every other way, drinking a brandy and Coke before dinner every single Saturday night that I lived at home.
Clearly it’s in the genes
This is a classic South African pudding, confusingly known by at least three names: dadelpoeding (its Afrikaans name meanind date pudding), Cape brandy pudding, and tipsy tart. The last one is a misnomer in that it’s not a tart at all…. but it will definitely make you tipsy if you overindulge in the syrup!
Even friends who profess to dislike fruit puddings lick their bowls clean, and it makes a great altrenative to Christmas pudding. I should know – that’s what I served this year!
- 250g dates, roughly chopped
- 250 ml water
- 5ml bicarbonate of soda
- 100g butter, softened
- 200ml caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 250ml plain flour
- 5ml baking powder
- 100g pecan nuts, chopped
- FOR THE SYRUP:
- 250ml sugar
- 120ml water
- 120ml brandy
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 30ml butter
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease an oven-proof dish.
- Combine the dates with the water in a small pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda.
- Cream together the butter, sugar and egg. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the creamed mix together with the cooled dates and mix well.
- Mix in the nuts and pour into the greased dish. Bake for about an hour or until a skewer comes out clean
- For the syrup, boil the sugar, water, butter and vanilla essence together until the desired syrupy consistency is reached - anything from 2 to 10 minutes. Add the brandy and cinnamon and mix well.
- Serve the pudding with the syrup poured over it and top with some whipped cream (or custard if preferred).