Pumpkin Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce

  • Serves: 9 - 12 slices
  • Prep Time: 00:20
  • Cooking Time: 00:45
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This beautifully flavoured, light-textured Pumpkin Sticky Date Pudding is perfect for any occasion. You can use mashed sweet potato in place of the pumpkin, both taste amazing and the almond meal can be replaced with hazelnut meal for a richer flavour. This naturally sweetened, gluten and grain-free, dairy-free, paleo pudding is delicious served with my lightly salted caramel sauce made with coconut cream (recipe below). No one will guess this delicious pudding contains vegetables.

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • STICKY DATE PUDDING:
  • 15 (1 1/2 cups) Medjool date(s), pitted, plus hot water to soak the dates
  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal/flour, or hazelnut meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 Tbsp golden flaxseed meal (fine ground)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (400g) cooked, mashed & chilled pumpkin, (don't overcook, just tender enough to mash). You can also use sweet potato.
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) coconut cream, (a thick brand like Ayam)
  • 3 lge egg(s)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (100%)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • CARAMEL SAUCE:
  • 400ml canned coconut cream, (a thick brand)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup (100%)
  • 2 Tbsp ghee, or grass-fed butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • A generous pinch of sea salt, or to taste

Directions

Beforehand, simmer your diced pumpkin until just tender (you don't want it waterlogged), then roughly mash so you can measure it. Set aside to cool.

Place the dates into a heatproof dish and cover with boiling water. Soak for 15 minutes to soften.

Preheat your oven to 170c (fan-forced) and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

Add the almond meal, coconut flour, arrowroot, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt to a food processor. Blend to combine the dry ingredients for approximately 8 - 10 seconds.

Add the pumpkin, coconut cream, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Blend to combine and create a smooth moist batter.

Drain the dates and add them to the food processor. Blend for approximately 5 - 6 seconds to incorporate into the batter but leave some bits of dates visible.

Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until golden and firm on top. Allow to cool a little in the tin for 15 - 20 minutes, cut the pudding into squares and serve warm with the caramel sauce and dairy-free cream (it's also delicious served cold). The pudding can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge and warmed before serving.

CARAMEL SAUCE: While the pudding is cooking make the caramel sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and heat on medium, stirring frequently until it starts to slowly simmer. Reduce to low and stir often while gently simmering for 20 - 25 minutes until the caramel reduces a little and thickens slightly. Watch it doesn't burn. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm over the pudding. The caramel sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge covered, it will thicken in the fridge but will thin out again when warmed (try not to eat by the spoonful straight from the fridge, it's so delicious).

The pudding and sauce will keep for 4 - 5 days in the fridge.

Medjool date(s)

I use Medjool dates in my recipes, I like the flavour and softness of these dates. A bonus, there are no preservatives used with these dates. They blend easy when adding to recipes and give a slight caramel flavour.

Medjool dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.

almond meal/flour

The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.

All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.

coconut flour

Coconut flour is made by drying and grinding the meat of a coconut to a fine texture. Coconut flour is a low-carb flour that's an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein. It's a good grain-free and nut-free alternative but does require a larger amount of liquid than normal when used for baked goods. When replacing in a recipe that calls for wheat flour (or almond meal), use this guide; 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour, add an extra egg and an extra 1/3 cup of liquid. It can be used in soups, gravies and stews as a thickener and adds a boost of nutrition. Coconut flour may promote stable blood sugar levels and a healthy heart. In addition, it may have antibacterial properties and aid digestion and weight loss. There are now quite a few brands of coconut flour available and they all seem to perform differently depending on how coarse the texture is. In my recipes, I used Organic Coconut Flour from 'Let's Do Organic' and 'Red Tractor Foods' I like their finer texture.

arrowroot flour

Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).

golden flaxseed meal (fine ground)

Golden flaxseed meal is finely ground linseed. You will find it in many of my recipes. It is also a great egg substitute when mixed with water. Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of carbs. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the key force against inflammation in our bodies. Flaxseed must be stored in the fridge. I like to use golden flaxseed as it is lighter in colour, than the brown variety and produces a nicer colour to your baking.

cinnamon

I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.

ginger

Ginger root is widely used as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It is a hot spice which you will find in many commercial curry powders. It's often used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Some studies have shown joint swelling in people suffering with arthritis experience less pain and swelling when taken daily. I like to use fresh minced ginger in my meals and dry ground ginger in baked goods.

baking soda (bicarb)

Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

pumpkin

Like all orange pigmented vegetables, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) and studies show pumpkin contains more than carrots.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

egg(s)

I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.

maple syrup (100%)

Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.

vanilla extract (organic)

Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

maple syrup (100%)

Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.

ghee

Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.

vanilla extract (organic)

Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.