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Pear Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee sauce

This is the warm comfort food you need to survive the “arctic vortex” here in Melbourne today!!!! Sticky date is one of my favourite puddings.

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cups pitted dates
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp baking soda
60g butter, chopped
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices

TOFFEE SAUCE
¾ cup cream
2 tblsp butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence

METHOD
Preheat oven to 180˚C or 160˚ç fan-forced. Grease the sides of a 25cm cake tin and line base with baking paper.
Place dates, water and baking soda in a saucepan large enough to hold the entire mixture. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped butter. Mix until melted. Then add sugar and eggs. Lastly fold in flour, vanilla and ginger.
Arrange pear slices in a circle on the bottom of the pan. Pour date mixture over the top and smooth out to evenly cover the pears.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto a serving platter. Serve with toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream.

TOFFEE SAUCE
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside. Reheat when needed.

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