Yes, it’s called sticky ﬁg pudding (swapping out dates for ﬁgs = revelation), but the secret to this dish is prunes. I know. Who would have thought that the laxative of the fruit world could elevate a dessert you thought was already perfect? The savoury spice mix garam masala balances out the sometimes sickly-sweet quality of this dish. A total crowd pleaser.
- 180 g (6½ oz) dried ﬁgs, roughly chopped
- 100 g (3½ oz) pitted soft prunes, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 250 ml (8½ ﬂ oz/1 cup) boiling water
- 120 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter, softened (see Note)
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp Vegg (vegan egg yolk) (see Note)
- 1 tbsp No Egg (see Note)
- 3 tbsp cold water
- 185 g (6½ oz/1¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) ﬂour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp salt
- vanilla ice cream, to serve (see Note)
- 200 g (7 oz) brown sugar
- 300 g (10½ oz) cream cheese (see Note)
- ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 80 g (2¾ oz) butter (see Note)
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.
Standing time: 10 minutes
Note that the cooking time is 35 minutes in a tin, but about an hour if using a pudding basin.
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line a pudding basin (mould) or a 20 cm (8 in) springform cake tin.
2. Place the figs and prunes in a heatproof bowl and sprinkle over the bicarbonate of soda. Pour over the boiling water and leave to soften for 10 minutes, then mash with a potato masher or fork until fairly smooth.
3. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and well combined.
4. Whisk together the Vegg, No Egg and cold water, then add to the butter mixture and beat through. It may look slightly curdled but that’s totally fine. Sift in the flour, baking powder, garam masala and salt and mix until incorporated. Pour in the date and prune mixture and stir until well combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared basin or tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 35 minutes if you are using a springform tin, or about an hour if using a pudding basin until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile, to make the butterscotch sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once, then remove from the heat.
6. Remove the pudding from the oven and poke holes all over the surface with a skewer. Pour over 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the butterscotch sauce and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream and the remaining sauce in a jug so people can add more if they like.
• This recipe is from a vegan cookbook. All references to non-vegan ingredients - cheese, butter etc – refer to vegan versions of these ingredients.
• Vegg and No Egg are available from health food stores and many supermarkets.
Recipe and images from Vegan with Bite by Shannon Martinez (Hardie Grant Books, $34.99). Photography: © Nikki To