Nothing says "I love you" more than cooking that persons favourite dish, especially if you don’t like to eat that particular thing yourself. Mr. GF is the lover of all puddings stodge. The heavier the better. If you could use it as a brick, super. Jam roly poly, spotted dick, treacle sponge. That sort of thing. The thing I can take or leave. But it was our 11 year anniversary and they say you have to do something nice for the other person and all.
200g stoned Medjool dates
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
6 slices of white bread, crusts removed
3 free-range whole eggs
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
75g caster sugar
500ml double cream
100g golden syrup
100g soft dark brown sugar
100ml double cream
Place the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan and just cover with water. Simmer gently until the dates break down.
Butter the bread, then cut each slice in half to make triangles. Layer the bread and dates in six buttered ramekins, starting and finishing with a layer of bread.
Beat together the whole eggs, yolks, seeds scraped from the vanilla pod and sugar in a bowl. Heat the cream to scalding point, then pour on to the egg mixture, mixing well. Pour over the bread and dates. Leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.
Set the ramekins in a roasting tray filled half-way up the sides with water and bake for 16 minutes or until the custard has set (mine needed a little longer than 16 minutes).
To make the sauce, simply combine the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When smooth and dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Keep warm.
Sprinkle the top of the pudding evenly with demerera sugar and caramelise under a hot grill or blow torch.
Serve with the sauce.