Cape Brandy Pudding
A traditional, Cape dessert (originating in the South Western corner of South Africa – the Western Cape Province – where the Dutch Settlers landed). Brandy was first distilled from Cape grapes in 1672. Today, South Africa produces some fine brandies which can compete with the best French Cognacs! I sent this recipe in to Gourmet Magazine many years ago, when I was still at school, and was most excited when they published it – must’ve been something good about it!
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 250 g (9 oz) dates, stoned and finely chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
- 125 g (5 oz) butter
- 500 ml (2 cups) sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 500 ml (2 cups) cake flour
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
- 2 ml (½ teaspoon) salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) finely chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
- 15 ml (3 teaspoons) butter
- 150 ml water
- 125 ml (½ cup) good brandy
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
- Add bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to half the dates and pour boiling water over. Mix well and leave to cool.
- Cream 125 g (5 oz) butter and 250 ml (1 cup) sugar and beat in the eggs. Mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and 2 ml ( Â½ teaspoon) salt over creamed mixture and fold in.
- Add the remaining dates and the nuts, mixing well. Stir in the cooled date mixture.
- Mix thoroughly, then turn batter into a large baking dish and bake at 180Â°C (350Â°F) until done, about 40 minutes.
- Heat remaining butter and sugar and water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and stir in the brandy, vanilla essence and the salt. Pour the syrup over the pudding as soon as it is done. Serve hot or cold with whipped cream. Serves 6.
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