I love puddings! There, it has been said. I love self saucing chocolate pudding, and lemon delicious pudding and raspberry and coconut pudding…..but most of all I love Sticky Date Pudding. So you can imagine my dismay when I was found to be dairy intolerant, gluten intolerant and grain intolerant (no, those last two are not the same thing).
If you have ever tried gluten free desserts you will understand, a lot of them are pretty ick. There are exceptions, but if you are like me and your worst enemy is rice, that narrows your options a whole lot.
I hadn’t realised how many people were like me, grain free, dairy free, pretty stupid of me, after all, Paleo has been the new black for years and that is a grain free, dairy free diet. Slowly I began to experiment, there is a lot of paleo stuff around and some of it is pretty good, but often it is too dense, too rich for me, I was after PUDDING! And CAKE (which I love as much as pudding).
And so began a whole new adventure for this very classically trained chef, and I found that yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. I told Karen I would trial some desserts but we would only sell them if I could make them as good as their classical counterparts, luckily she agreed and off we went. I began with my own version of a gluten free orange and almond cake, this is a very common cake, easy to find when you are out, frequently tart and sharp and medicinal with that nasty aftertaste that comes from boiling orange pith. I leaned on my marmalade training, and wha-la! Sunshine cake! Soft and cakey and sweet and fragrant, such a joy that they didn’t last long enough for poor Karen to get a taste.
Success! But with my new found empathy for the mainstream food challenged, I thought, what about those people who can’t have nuts?
So I began work on our grain free, gluten free, dairy free, nut free goody loaves, I just love this one, it is studded with dried apricots, prunes and dates, rich in coconut and olive oil and eggs, sweet enough for morning tea but wholesome enough for breakfast (what? You don’t put sugar on your weet-bix?).
And then, at last, fireworks went off in my brain! Fast asleep (I do my best recipe development when I am dreaming), I sat bolt upright at 2am, bright red with inspiration (my husband says it was probably a hot flash, but I know better), pudding! Sticky date pudding! Grain free, gluten free, dairy free, nut free Sticky Date Pudding!
And it was perfect. Light, delicate, but puddingy, sweet, but not too sweet so that we can’t have the caramel sauce as well, tender on the inside with a chewy brown crust. My dream pud, literally.
CG’s Grain free, Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce, my most favourite thing (this week, next week it will be something else).