This week's recipe is inspired by Taste.com.au. I came across the original recipe for Louise's Banana Date Pudding. It looked so good and I knew I had to try it. It's the perfect winter comfort food and also offers many nutritional health benefits. The original recipe calls for hazelnuts and hazelnut oil which is a big no-no for my cutie-pie nephew (who is allergic to nuts) and I didn't want him to miss out so I made some changes.
I started to think about what other flavors would work well with a warm, golden banana & date pudding and suddenly it hit me - naked ginger and a little dark chocolate drizzled over the cream would not only look beautiful and add additional health benefits but would round out the sweetness of the pudding.
I also wanted to see how I could up the ante on this recipe and decided to use maple syrup as the sweetener. Pure maple syrup (not the fake kind made with high fructose corn syrup) tastes amazing, contains a host of minerals including zinc and manganese and is also a probiotic (facilitates good bacteria in the colon).
Well the family and my nephew loved how it turned out and I think you will too!
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup pitted dates
1+1/4 cup boiling water
I teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 large bananas mashed
2/3 cup maple syrup OR honey (you can use a little less if you wish)
1/3 cup rice bran oil OR olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
1+1/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour OR plain self-raising flour
Light cream to serve
6-10 cubes dark chocolate melted (for decoration)
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped naked ginger
Preheat your oven to 180°C/375°F.
Lightly grease 12 x 1/2 cup ramekins.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add the dates, boiling water and bicarbonate of soda, cover and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften through.
Add the dates and water mixture to your food processor and process until smooth, add the mashed banana, maple syrup, rice bran oil, vanilla extract, mixed spice and ginger powder and process again until combined.
Add the flour and pulse/mix until just combined.
Place your 12 greased ramekins on a tray and divide the batter evenly between them.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted come out clean or the top of the pudding springs back when gently pressed.
Once the puddings have cooled slightly, drizzle some cream over the top.
In a microwave or double boiler melt your dark chocolate. If using a microwave melt in bursts of 30 seconds, check and repeat until melted. You may need to try and stir each time as dark chocolate tends to holds it's shape when microwaved even if melting.
Using a teaspoon, drizzle over the pudding and cream in a zig-zag fashion.
Sprinkle the naked ginger evenly over the puddings and serve.
MAKES 12 SERVES