A quirky take on a dessert staple, the mushrooms are blended with the dates to help make the pudding dense, moist and rich.






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Sticky date pudding

  • 175 g portobello mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g dark brown sugar
  • 200 g Mejdool dates pitted
  • 240 g boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 145 g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt

Butterscotch caramel

  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g dark brown sugar
  • 125 g thickened cream
  • salt

Vanilla ice cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 80 g sugar
  • 300 g milk
  • 150 g thickened cream
  • 10 g glucose
  • 1 vanilla pod

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2. Place dates in a pot with bicarb and boiling water, cook over low heat until dates are softened.

3. Meanwhile melt butter in a pan then add mushrooms and cook for 8–10 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Then place the mushrooms (with all the excess butter) and dates together in a blender and blend until smooth. Then add in the dark brown sugar followed by the flour and, lastly, eggs.

4. Blend until a batter is formed then pour into a 10-cm cake ring lined with baking paper or lightly sprayed with oil.

5. Pour 250 g of mix into each cake ring and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.

6. Place the butter and sugar in a pot and stir gently over medium heat until sugars begin to liquefy.

7. Whisk in thickened cream and bring to a boil, then simmer for 3–5 minutes while stirring. Once thick enough to coat a spoon, season with salt and set aside.

8. Place milk, cream, glucose and vanilla together in a pot and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy.

9. Whisk hot milk into the egg yolks and then return to the heat and bring to a temperature of 85°C. Strain the mixture and allow to cool down completely before churning.

10. To serve, remove mushroom date pudding from the cake ring while it’s still warm and cut in half for one portion.

11. Transfer onto a plate and scoop vanilla ice cream on top then finish with pouring warm butterscotch caramel over the dish. Serve immediately.


• Don’t throw away any leftover mushroom pieces - dry these in the oven and blend to a powder, then dust on top of the dish for extra flavour.