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Sticky Banana Pudding

Dark chocolate . . . ripe banana . . . sweet dates . . . — dessert, anyone?!? You know we love Sticky Toffee Pudding, and this is a variation we just had to try (rough assignment, but someone’s gotta do it, right?). We’re happy to report that it works, quite nicely in fact with a tot of rum served alongside. We’ll just leave you with the reminder that this is not a ‘pudding’ in the American sense of the word (it’s not custardy in the least), but rather given to mean, in the British sense, dessert — which in this case, is tender cake and smooth ganache. Aaaaahhh.

Sticky Banana Pudding

For the ganache

2 tbs. sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
7½ oz. semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1½ tbs. butter

For the pudding

6¼ oz. whole pitted dates (about 1¼ cups)
3 fl. oz. hot water
1 tsp. baking soda
11 tbs. butter, softened
6¼ oz. soft brown sugar (1 cup lightly packed)
2 eggs, beaten
6¼ oz. self-rising flour (about 1½ cups)
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1-2 drops vanilla extract
heavy cream, to serve

Bring the sugar and cream to the boil and add the chocolate and butter. Stir until melted. Chill for about an hour in the fridge so that you have a soft but not firmly set chocolate ganache.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Thoroughly grease 8 individual ½ cup pudding moulds (or custard cups).

Slowly cook the dates with the water and baking soda for 5-10 minutes or until the dates soften and begin to break down. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs and flour, then the bananas and vanilla. Mix in the date mixture.

Spoon some of the pudding mix half way up the basins, add a small ball of ganache, then spoon over the rest of the mix. Cover each basin with a square of foil and bake for about 25 minutes or until set.

To serve, run a knife around the inside of each basin and invert over a plate. Gently melt the remaining ganache so that you can spoon some over each pudding. Pool some heavy cream around the edges of the plate, if you like.

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