Today I’m sharing with you a treasured family recipe. You know the type; baked first by my Nan for hungry farmers and children over the years, then by my Ma at special family lunches to follow a feast of roast lamb. Now I’ve added my own flair to this classic and secretly simple dish; a delightfully rich and moist Sticky Date and Pear Pudding covered in crispy caramelised pecans, served warm with vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of homemade butterscotch sauce. You’ll be able to have this one in the oven in well under an hour, and there are no tricks at all in the recipe. Perfectly embracing so many irresistible and comforting winter flavours, this dessert is a definite crowd pleaser and the ultimate comfort food.
It’s a dark, wintery night and you’re cozied up on the couch, hands wrapped around a steaming mug of tea, listening to the crackling fire and the pitter-patter of gentle rain on the roof, but there’s something missing…until you pull this Caramelised Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake out of the oven! I firmly believe that one slice of this soft, sweet, sticky cake will solve a significant number of your problems, and will be gladly received by whoever you choose to share it with. This recipe has become a favourite of mine, and I’ve experimented with it over the years to produce this fool-proof version.
This is a swanky caramel slice that puts the classic recipe to shame. First, you taste the slathering of dark chocolate, sprinkled with sparkling salt flakes. Then, your teeth collapse into an irresistible layer of thick, silky, slightly salted caramel. Finally, that magnificent mouthful is finished off with a moreish, crunchy base of roasted nuts and shredded coconut. You’ll quickly convert to this jazzed up version of the old favourite, and those lucky enough to taste a slice will be begging you for more…
I’m currently staying with family friends in their beautiful house, nestled amongst the imposing indigo mountains of the Tasmanian wilderness. The dark, dense forests filter the long awaited sunshine of this warm summer, giving our little world a wonderfully romantic sense of mystery and anticipation. I’m whiling away the days with a good book, lots of cooking, and runs along dirt tracks that wind through the infinite woods calling from our doorstep. I was given the task of cooking a dessert that would compliment last night’s dinner of Thai green chicken curry with lots of steamed green veggies. I had this deliciously creamy pudding cooked for me at the end of a recent Vietnamese Banquet cooking class; us pupils were a bit slow for the chef, so she took matters into her own hands and finished off the dessert while the rest of us ate a spread of tantalising main courses. Without the recipe from home, I did a bit of research and experimenting and came up with this version. It was a winner with the entire 9-53 year old dinner crowd! Continue reading