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Sticky date pudding is my go-to winter dessert, and the layering of warming ginger only serves to solidify it as a seasonal stayer. But it’s the addition of parsnip that really makes this a show-stopper. Serve with a moat of salted caramel, plus cream and ice cream, thanks!
300g Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
400g grated parsnip, plus 1 peeled and thinly sliced parsnip to garnish
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
190g crystallised ginger, sliced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
250ml ginger ale, boiling hot
250g butter, melted
370g dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
450g self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt flakes
Salted caramel sauce
185g dark brown sugar
300ml thickened (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt flakes
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Grease and line the base and sides of a 12-cup (3 litre) cake tin or high-sided baking dish. Pop the dates and grated parsnip into a mixing bowl, along with the grated, crystallised and ground ginger and the bicarbonate of soda. Pour the boiling ginger ale over. Leave for 20 minutes to soften and cool.
In a large mixing bowl, introduce the melted butter, sugar and vanilla to each other using a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the parsnip and ginger mixture, then fold in the flour and salt until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Arrange the parsnip slices over the top of the pudding with some artistic flair. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean. (If the top looks like it’s colouring up too quickly, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes or so.) Leave to cool in the cake tin on a wire rack.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until it comes to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens and turns from blonde to bronde. Spoon the warm pudding into serving bowls, then pour a generous ladleful of warm sauce over the top.