These delicious little puddings are quite gingery, which I like. If you are not a big fan of ginger the pudding will still be delicious without it.
When they are ready let them stand for 5 minutes before serving, it makes such a difference to the flavour.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted softened butter
170g caster sugar
2 large eggs
170g self-raising flour
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
¼ tsp ground mixed spice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
120g shelled pistachio nuts
For the sauce
115g unsalted butter
115g light muscovado sugar
140ml double cream
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Begin by toasting the pistachios in a hot frying pan for 5 minutes, shake the pan frequently as they burn easily. Set them aside.
Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with 200ml of boiling water. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes then drain. Put the dates in a food processor and puree.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and light using a wooden spoon, then add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger. Mix together then fold in the pureed dates and yoghurt.
Pour into buttered, pudding moulds then place the moulds into a roasting tin containing 2" boiling water and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch.
Make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour.
To serve, turn the puddings out and pour over the toffee sauce then sprinkle pistachios over each pudding. Pour over cream or custard.