Baking with Mrs Bouw: Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who doesn't love sticky date pudding, right?! It's hard to pass up a slice of this yummy dessert any time of year but there's just something about the word 'pudding' that screams 'Christmas' isn't there?! I have made two in the last week! I love this recipe. Like most of the recipes I post, it is super easy and so convenient to be able to make it a day or so in advance with minimal fuss when it comes to serving it! And that part is almost as good as eating it... scooping the ice-cream (scoffing a few sneaky spoonfuls as you go) and drizzling the sticky, sweet butterscotch sauce over the pudding... yum yum yum! Happy baking my friends! x 

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce


1 3/4 cups deseeded dried dates
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
60g butter, roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar

Butterscotch Sauce

3/4 cup (firmly packed) brown sugar
300ml cream (but be at least 35 to 40 percent fat)
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
25g butter 


- Place dates and water in a small saucepan over high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, add bicarbonate of soda and butter, and remove from the heat. Stir and then set aside for 20 minutes (or until cooled). The butter will melt during this time.

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

- Grease a 20cm diameter round springform pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

- Place cooled date mixture in a food processor. Pulse mixture a few times to form a chunky paste.

- Add eggs and vanilla to date mixture and pulse a couple of times until just combined.

- Stir flour and 150g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Use the back of the spoon to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add date mixture to the flour mixture and gently fold the ingredients together until just combined.

- Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake the pudding for about 50-60 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. The pudding should spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. Note: if the pudding starts to over-brown whilst baking, loosely cover it with greaseproof paper or piece of foil.

- Begin making the sauce (see instructions below) about 10 minutes before the pudding has finished baking.

- Leave pudding in the pan and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a skewer, pierce several deep holes in the pudding. Pour about 125ml (1/2 cup) of the hot butterscotch sauce over the pudding. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

- Set the remainder of the sauce to the side until right before serving. The sauce can be stored in the fridge (or freezer) and easily reheated.

- To serve, cut a slice of pudding, place it on a plate and drizzle with the butterscotch sauce with a scoop of vanilla icing on the side.

Butterscotch Sauce
Place sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the mixture comes to the simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Home Made Falafels!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I remember the very first time I made these for Mr B he was rather sceptical. But now, months later, he considers it a treat meal and last night he even said they're just as good as eating a burger! This says a lot coming from a meat lover! My take on the tasty and wholesome falafel is a little healthier than some versions as I only lightly fry them as opposed to deep frying. I like to cook them in advance as they taste even better once they've had time to sit a little. They can be kept in the fridge for a number of days and I can't see why you couldn't freeze them but they never last long enough in our house! Falafels make such a great lunch or dinner (and a super quick one if you've prepared them in advance!) and you can really serve them with whatever takes your fancy. My favourite way is in a wholemeal wrap with baby spinach, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of tzatziki (pictured below)... yum! Happy falafel making my friends :)

Home made falafels


2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup fresh continental parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup plain flour
1 eggwhite
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Yoghurt or tzatziki, to serve.


- Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander, parsley, cumin, flour, eggwhite, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss ingredients together.

- Place mix into food processor in batches (I find it's much quicker this way and stops your food processor from clogging up) and process until smooth.

- Using floured hands, shape the mixture into 2cm thick patties and place on a plate. I usually get about 10 patties out of this recipe but I guess you can make them as big or as small as you please.

- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook patties for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and slightly browned.

- Serve with salad and yoghurt or my favourite way is in a wholemeal wrap with baby spinach, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and a dollop of tzatziki.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Zucchini Spaghetti!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Some of you may have seen my posts on Instagram earlier today featuring tonights dinner... zucchini spaghetti! Well, after a big week of celebrating both Anya and Allegra's Birthdays (and perhaps indulging in too much cake!), I thought it best to get us Bouw's back onto some healthier foods! My girls are generally good eaters but I'll take any opportunity I can to try and make fruit and veggies even more appealing to them (as I know some kiddies are scared of the green stuff), so tonight I thought I'd be sneaky and disguise zucchini as one of their faves... spaghetti! This recipe is honestly ridiculously easy and super quick, so easy that it's almost a joke! And don't limit yourself to the two quick sauce recipes below, just treat the zucchini spaghetti as normal spaghetti and add YOUR favourite sauce :) Tonight the girls had the 'Tomato and Tuna' version and Mr B and I had the 'Avocado and Pesto'... both were seriously yum (and both are pictured below)! Most importantly, this dish was a winner with my girls. Anya scoffed her entire bowl and whilst Allegra took a little convincing (ok, I may have told her it was mermaid spaghetti hee hee) she ate 3/4 of hers. So here you go my friends, knock yourself out... and good luck with the kiddies!


'Avocado and Pesto'

4 medium-large zucchinis, washed (this amount fed the four of us... x2 adults and x2 children).
1 avocado
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 tsp basil pesto (I know some people find too much pesto a little over powering so add as little or as much as you like)!
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, to finish (if desired)

'Tomato and Tuna'

Diced tomatoes (either fresh or tinned)
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tin of tuna (I always use Sirena brand)
Salt and pepper to taste

* If you're really pushed for time you can always cheat and use a jar of sauce of your choice ;)


- Take your grater (or slicer if you have one) and lay it down with the side that has the largest grating holes on it facing upwards.

- Chop the ends off your zucchini then holding it length ways, push along the top of grater, using long strokes in order to create long, thin spaghetti ribbons of zucchini.

- Heat your frying pan over medium heat with your olive oil, then gently fry the zucchini with the garlic until slightly tender.

- If you're cooking the 'Avocado and pesto' version, once the spaghetti is heated simply stir through your pesto and avocado, a squeeze of your fresh lemon, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. If it takes your fancy you can top with parmesan cheese.

- If you're cooking the 'Tomato and tuna' version, remove the heated spaghetti from the fry pan and place in a bowl to the side. Quickly fry the onion, throw in your tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes. I prefer to add the tuna towards the end of this cooking time. Once your sauce is done, you can either throw your spaghetti back in the fry pan and toss through the sauce before dividing between serving bowls, alternatively, you can place the cooked spaghetti in serving bowls and then top with sauce. This all depends on how you and your family like to eat their spaghetti as I know some people prefer loads of sauce and others just a smidgen.

- Enjoy!

Baking with Mrs Bouw: Fool-proof Chocolate Mudcake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Described last week as 'the most delicious cake I have ever eaten' by one of Mr B's colleagues, I thought it would only be fair that I share with you my recipe for a Chocolate Mudcake that is guaranteed to turn out delicious and moist EVERY time. After Allegra put in her special request, I whipped up this baby last Monday on the eve of her 3rd Birthday. I then used off-cuts from the girl's wrapping paper and left over straws from the party to make the cake bunting. PLEASE NOTE: I halved the below recipe (which is designed to make a 23cm cake) as I wanted a smaller but taller cake so I used a 15cm tin instead. Also, if your cake is a little higher it may take slightly longer to bake so once you get to the 1 hour and 15 minute mark, test it every 5 minutes there after until the skewer comes out relatively clean... don't panic if the mixture still appears gooey as it will set more once cooled. This cake is suppose to be super dense so is pretty forgiving if you do go a few minutes over the suggested baking time. Happy Baking my friends :)

Fool-proof Chocolate Mudcake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing


250g chocolate (I use 100g dark chocolate and 150g milk chocolate)
250g salted butter
3/4 cup water
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 1/2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you can’t find butter milk, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to your ½ cup of milk)

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
250g butter, softened
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoons milk


- Preheat oven to 150°c for fan-forced oven, or 160°c if not fan-forced.

- Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.

- Place 250g chocolate, butter, and water in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

- Once chocolate and butter have melted, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a very large bowl.

- Add the caster sugar to the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir the ingredients together until well combined.

- In a medium bowl, place eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk and whisk until well combined.

- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.

- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mixture in a three batches, stirring until combined after each addition.

- Pour mixture into prepared tin.

- Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

- Important note: This cake is designed to be super moist so if the skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not gooey batter) attached, the cake is ready. If not, return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes before testing again.

- Once cooked through, remove cake from the oven, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Tip: I always cover my baked goods with a clean tea towel and allow to cool. This helps prevent it drying out.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

- Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy.

- Add the icing sugar mixture, cocoa powder and milk and beat for a further 6 minutes or until light and creamy.

- Pipe the icing onto the cake as you please.

- Enjoy!


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