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Cakes, Food

Sticking with the Pudding – Sticky Date

Have you a particular dish that you know you don’t like, but have never really ever tried it?

Or perhaps you were once bitten, twice shy in regards to a particular food?

For me, that was Sticky Date Pudding.

I would swerve away from these dried out chewy concoctions at buffets and head straight for the chocolate mousse, pavlovas or berry desserts on offer. I am not really a fan of dates, anyway, unless they are in a Mocha Date loaf, one that I have made at home, myself.

Would you call that being a kind of food snob? Hand up – that’s me!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The thought that I was a food snob struck me in an idle moment yesterday, as I was adding the last of the brown sugar from its packet, atop my morning porridge.

As is my habit, I double-checked the information on the side of the empty brown sugar packet, prior to disposing of the packet, in case there was an interesting recipe that I might consider making.

“Oh.” I sighed with resignation, disappointed to see the suggested recipe was merely sticky date pudding. I tossed the packet aside to go in the rubbish.

Not interested in that, I thought.

Nevertheless, with the topic of pudding on my mind, I struck up a conversation with the M.o.t.h. (aka Man of the House).

“Do you like Sticky Date Pudding?”

“No, I don’t.” was his curt reply. “Never have,” he said, shutting down the topic fast.

I can only blame some kind of homemaker’s intuition that made me re-consider that recipe for sticky date pudding, or it could have been the brainwashing of those Zero waste bloggers.

I noted that cream was one of the listed ingredients in the sauce and making it would mean I could use up the leftover cream sitting in the fridge and not feel guilt at being wasteful.

Add to this, I do like to try new recipes and I had never made this before. I am making #onecakeaweek over at the Home by the Sea and a pudding would be a lovely addition to the theme.

What is the Health Benefits of Eating Dates?

Often maligned, dates are surprisingly good for your health. They may aid with digestion, improve bone health, lower cholesterol and are a tasty source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fibre. Amazing, really.

The umpteen health benefits of dates has made the delicious fruit one of the most sought after foods in the world of health and nutrition.

Critique of CSR Sticky Date Pudding Recipe

So, last night at the Home by the Sea, I made that CSR version of Sticky Date Pudding. Can you believe it turned out to be highly successful with the Moth and a completely delightful surprise for me. (Otherwise, it probably would not rate a whole blog post).

It was soft and delicate and there was not one sign of a chewy date, just a subtle fruity flavour with a freshly baked cake-like texture. The butterscotch sauce, which I was so wary of, initially, could be described as a creamy and buttery, ‘nectar of the Gods,’ with a molasses-like sugary flavour that oozed over the pudding, like velvet.

Why was I so tentative about Sticky Dates? This was not the same dried out chewy version of pudding, I always thought of, at all.

As you have surely guessed, I am now a convert, and the M.o.t.h. could not stop raving about it. In fact, so enamoured was he with this version of Pudding he was going back to the kitchen for a third helping, when I intervened suggesting he might like to keep some for the following night. (I was considering his waistline, of course!)

You can find the full recipe right now on my secondary blog- Home by the Sea.

Photo by on

Do you have a food you disliked, or refused to eat, only to discover that, years later, it tasted way better than you thought?

90 thoughts on “Sticking with the Pudding – Sticky Date”

    1. That is the whole reason I never ate this dish, Alison. I never bothered trying to eat it until now. I don’t usually eat any kind of curry, and recently I tried a very mild curry with seafood in it. A creamy kind of sauce – it was delicious! The Moth won’t touch curry under any circumstances, for gut reasons. It is a shame buffets might become a thing of the past in a Covid or post Covid environment, as they were a great chance to try something different, weren’t they?


        1. Prawns? Absolutely love them. Pretty much any seafood is my treat. Oysters I could take or leave, but a buffet is where I actually will have one or two. I could never eat a whole serve, so would never order that as a meal. Do you do Garlic prawns on the Barbie?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. That would be a great idea for a post. I need inventive ideas for barbequeing something different. I have done chicken skewers and a whole roast as well as the usual steak, sausages and onions. That about sums up my culinary talent where the weber is concerned.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. About to be virtually off to France for the night for the Tour – pure and utter heaven for three weeks of not sleeping every year ! So, briefly, *smile* – Love dates. Hate sticky date pudding – but, then, I can eat three first courses, but never have dessert ! Love oysters . . . au naturel preferably,, and may I have two dozen, please ! Could not live without curries . . . cook them from every one of the 23 countries where this ‘dish with a spicy sauce’ (which is all ‘curry’ means !) is national ! Amongst favourites are Goan, Keralan, Malaysian, and Burmese variants . . . like them pretty hot and make my own spice mixtures usually . . . . best . . ._.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I very much do 🙂 ! My 22nd year of following . . . quite besides the cycling the wonderful varied scenery, history repeated, culture and cooking and wine make it one of the most varied experiences one can enjoy methinks !
        And our SBS does such a fantastic job . . . Food: remember I met you on an Estonian food blog !! Altho’ fulltime work and study do not allow me to have my own blog, I do follow over 60 in four languages . . . a great way to make friends . . .. . .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree blogging is a fantastic way to make new friendships.
          And also agree on SbS. Excellent coverage and the commentators- is it Tom L. do it so well.
          I loved watching le tour for the scenery but I didn’t think there was much in terms of food? Has it changed?


          1. Well, Guillaume Brahmini has taken over the early nightly segment – classic regional recipes so far . . . too fast until my weekly ‘SBS Food’ came in just awhile ago and all four recipes, including a slightly different beef tartare, came in. Otherwise one picks up enough from the guys talking 🙂 ! There is a fabulous new female commentator this year . . . a medical doctor who raced around the world herself, Great asset ! This year the route is quite different to those before . . . click on Instagram for the three weeks under TdF . . . fantastic photos . . .

            Liked by 1 person

              1. laughing Am back doing some work for a few minutes – the riders are on a flat, straight road having a night off and enjoying a gossip session ! Well, so am I !!! Yep, Mike TomAlaris is the Chief Guru still, wearing a pair of glasses for the first time. A very intelligent Robbie McEwen switched his record-breaking bike for a commentator’s chair and is fantastic and Matthew Keenan, stuck in Melbourne with Bridie O’Donnell is the fourth in the team. Mike and Robbie are broadcasting from a very fancy set in Sydney. Another Covid result !!!

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, dates are good for you. I would not mind both; eating dates and going with a date. I am doing well living on my own but do miss the domestic noises and another person’s presence. The arguing and loving and …eating nice meals together.
    The date pudding pictures are so tempting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I had to pick a favourite dessert (from the many that I love) it would probably be sticky date pudding. I am glad this one worked out well for you and especially that it was not dry.. I was surprised when you said at the outset that was your impression of them though I do agree they tend to be dry (and tasteless) even in high end buffets. I am fussy what temperature it is when I eat it too – never cold or even room temp. I had a look at your recipe and it looks very similar to the one I use though I do pour about half the sauce over the cake and heat in oven without it getting soggy. Then serve with more sauce and ice cream… very naughty but nice.

    My food that I disliked and now love – Brussel sprouts.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I LOVE Brussels sprouts – grilling/barbecuing actually work as does baking . . . and tho’ it seems sacrilege, they work very well sliced, eg in stirfries ! Apologies for butting in . . .

          Liked by 2 people

          1. No apology needed, Eha. Awesome suggestions! Slicing in stirfry is a novel but quite logical idea! Are they high in a particular nutrient that makes their addition worth my while in buying them?


            1. *laughter* Oh – the usual ‘boring’ reasons: very high fiber count and plentiful anti-oxidants. An anti-Ca food (so many are !) and supposedly keeps one’s rather important thyroid figures normal . . . etc, etc . . . !


  4. The name doesn’t do it any favors, does it? Sticky toffee pudding isnt very common here. When I was young, I’d read about it in children books set in Britain. Along with scotch eggs, black pudding, spotted dick, it was an exotic food I couldnt imagine how it tasted. When I saw it on the menu at a fish & chip shop I had to try! Delicious! Eaten warm with lots of fresh cream. YUM.

    Other foods that I’ve learned to love … Cauliflower – roasted in the oven. Pierogi. Liver – cooked French style with frites. Soft boiled eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You don’t like dates – but you might possibly like my date story?
    We had just moved to Saudi Arabia and on one of the first drives we saw this HUGE freestanding building. It was two storeys high, standing on a plot of land surrounded by open land, dotted with rubble and bushes. It had green neon lights on every corner and it stood there gleaming and sparkling in bright contrast to the area. Above the front entrance – large, frosted shop windows – was the neon light green name of the establishment, once in Arabic and below in western script: “Abdullah’s Dates”. I was dumfounded.
    Of course, I had read up about Saudi before going there, I knew that women were not allowed to work except in very few, restricted fields, not allowed to drive, not allowed to be outside the influence of a male of the family, etc. And then – please remember that I was coming from South Africa – they had a green temple for “dates”. Of course, I was thinking “escort service” and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
    My husband had to stop the car he was laughing so hard. And then he took me into the building. A department-store sized shop. With nothing on offer but dates: plain dates, dates stuffed with nuts, dates dipped in chocolate, confectionery made of dates, in small boxes, in big boxes, in assorted boxes, on small trays, on big trays, in gift baskets, arranged around toys, around artificial flowers – you name it, they had it. Dates.
    PS: Almost 12% of the world date production comes from Saudi Arabia. About 80% of the dates from Saudi come from one large oasis, Hofuf or Al-Hasa, which is situated about 150km from where we stayed. I was visiting there once, a farm house in the middle of the oasis. We were led up to the roof and looking outside there was nothing but green date palms stretching from horizon to horizon (we were looking down on them). In a country where the normal colour scheme is beige and brown, this was an amazing sight!
    PPS: I like the taste of dates, in moderation.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No, that was such a long time ago. It was an outing with the scout group of my boys, so in the 1990s. I was so busy looking after 20 cub scouts I don’t think I even took pictures.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t eat bitter spinach. Greens are nasty too. But for some reason, since I’ve moved to Japan, I’ll eat their spinach (called hourensou). The same goes for turnips. I can’t stand the ones from back home, but I enjoy Japanese ones (kabu).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so interesting, Ashley. Some people expect food in foreign countries to be exactly the same as the foods they get at home. And end up eat at McDonalds when travelling as they cannot find it. That is ridiculous, I think. They miss out on some really original and special food and dining experiences if they don’t venture past pizza and burgers. Perhaps the spinach or turnip is fresher or a slightly different variety in Japan? Or is it the way they cook it?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I will admit to sticking to McDonalds for a while when I arrived here in Japan. But when I was placed in an area without one… I learned quickly.

          Yeah, I dunno if they’re the same or not to be honest with you. When I type the Japanese into an image search, I get photos of what I know them to be so WHO KNOWS! haha

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes. It makes me curious. Google doesn’t always tranlate those things accurately.
            Good on you for adapting so well to your new environment. Was there anything you found you really didn’t like ?

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I am sorry to hear that your experience may have encompassed intolerance, Ashley but I cannot blame you on the shishamo. Is there widespread resentmet of foreigners by the public?


      1. It has cinnamon, raisins and when cooked right, rises about 2-3 inches in the pan. Here is the recipe i am acquainted with .
        Bread Pudding Recipe
        • Prep time: 10 minutes
        • Cook time: 1 hour
        • Raisin Soaking time: 1 hour
        • Yield: Makes 8-10 servings
        Need a kid-friendly sauce without bourbon? Use 1/2 cup of water mixed with 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and 2 Tbsp of cider or white vinegar in place of the bourbon called for in the sauce recipe.
        Get the raisins soaking in bourbon before you start anything with this recipe. You can even soak them a day or two ahead.
        The bread you use should be a little dry. If the bread you are using is fresh, after you cube it, spread it out on a sheet pan and put it in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
        For the Bread Pudding:
        • 1 cup raisins
        • 1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6-7 cups)
        • 1 quart milk
        • 3 large eggs
        • 2 cups sugar
        • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
        • 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey
        • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
        • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
        • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

        1 Soak the raisins: In a small bowl, combine the raisins with 1/4 cup bourbon. Cover and soak for 1 to 2 hours. The raisins should soak up most of the bourbon in this time.
        2 Preheat oven to 350°F.
        3 Soak bread in milk: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until all of the milk is absorbed.
        4 Add the egg mixture: In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon soaked raisins (with or without the remaining soaking liquid, according to taste). Stir gently to combine.
        5 Transfer to pan and bake: Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread milk and egg mixture into the baking pan.
        Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.
        6 Make the bourbon sauce while the bread pudding is cooking. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer! (Or the sauce will curdle. By the way, if your sauce curdles, just take it off the heat and blend it smooth in a blender.)
        Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.
        7 Serve: Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds like an adults only version of the bread pudding. I like the concept of adding all spice and cinnamon. Not as keen on bourbon in pudding though! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Much appreciated.


  6. I disliked oatmeal as a child, but I like it now. The question for me would be, have you ever disliked a dessert dish? Sadly, the answer is no. Some are better than others, but I have never forced myself to eat dessert, to the detriment of my waistline.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Desserts are so easy to like!!
      When we had no choice about the foods we ate, as children growing up, and they were repeatedly offered to us over and over, it seems easy to dislike them, Anne. You have reminded me of corned meat fritters my mother would make. Just the thought of them turns my stomach but I could probably eat them now. (Although I still would not choose to do so).
      Oats are so good for you so I am glad you have grown to like them. They can be prepared in so many different ways. From the humble porridge to honey and oat cookies or a crumble (streusel) like topping for cakes, french toast or stewed fruit!


  7. I am sufficiently concerned about the possibility of being pre-diabetic as to have entered myself into a program called “Life !”; so this post couldn’t possibly come at a worse time.
    In spite of the fact that my sugar intake is really, really low, there it is, apparently, that possibility. You and your puddings ! – pfuh ! [grin]


  8. I’ve never made sticky date pudding but your picture makes it look yummy! When I was little, I decided that I didn’t like pumpkin pie (a staple at Thanksgiving dinner here in the U.S.). As I got older, I made the decision to not to try it again so I could keep “hating it” in order to save the calories. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from having a piece of pecan pie (another popular dessert at Thanksgiving), which probably has even more calories.


    1. A good way to restrain ourselves is to make a rule like your rule with pumpkin pie. I had a friend who dieted by making a rule about not eating sugar in any form. There are so many foods with hidden forms of sugar as an ingredient. It was difficult for her to follow but effective in reducing calories.
      Having said that, Janis, who can resist pecan pie? And if we don’t spoil ourselves occasionally, we may be more prone to binging!


  9. Like you, I tried a date once and have never gone back. I don’t like them. I’d never buy them for myself. I reget nothing (lol).

    One food that comes to mind that I couldn’t get my mouth around was bread pudding. It looks great in the pictures! But I guess I’m not a fan of soggy bread.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Soggy bread – yuk!! I can understand about not regretting leaving all the dates for others to eat. But my Mocha Date loaf may just tempt you? I shall have to make that in the next couple of weeks and post about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love dates and I love sticky date pudding. Not the hideous ones you describe but the type you made, all soft and sweet. Delicious! I’m not keen on French toast or gnocchi. I’ve tried, but I’m yet to find a version I like.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sticky date pudding is one of my favourites! I always doubt if I should order it when I see it on menus incase they serve up the dry chewy kind. I was never a fan of sardines or anchovies previously but love both now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sardines and anchovies are seafood! So I do love them too. Sardines I have always liked just humbly served – squashed on buttered wholemeal toast. Plain and simple but a great way to get a hit of calcium and once I grew up, an effective way to keep amorous partners at bay. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not a sweet eater but I do make a pretty good sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce – or at least my family and friends tell me so. Eggplant is something I’m a new convert to. Previously I was in the don’t like it camp & now, thanks to a lamb & aubergine fatteh I’m a fan. Off to look at your other blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jo! Thanks for taking a look at the Home by the Sea.
      Eggplant is something I didn’t discover until I was about 23 years old. I had a wonderful eggplant moussaka at an Italian restaurant run by Egyptians! It was always delicious. Eggplant has become part of the nouveau cuisine here when vegetarianism become mainstream. The lamb and aubergine dish sounds really yummy. Have you posted about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Spinach! It really got a bad run until recently. No one liked it the way it used to be cooked. I love to use it in salads and with fetta cheese encased in filo pastry. Sometimes I substitute silverbeet. Rich in iron, but apparently we can’t absorb all of it. Maybe you might be tempted to try it one day?
    All is well here, thankyou. We are in a Covid bubble with just a few fools who brought it back from down south which has spread to about 30 cases or so. Really not a problem unless it is not contained. How about the wilds of Mexico?

    Liked by 1 person

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