Mandarin and Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

By Darren Robertson and Mark La Brooy

Mandarin and Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

This Mandarin and Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce is a delightful twist on the classic sticky date pudding we all love. The mandarins add a refreshing citrus flavour that brightens the dish.

For an extra treat, try adding 200g of roughly chopped chocolate to the batter, creating warm chocolate pockets that perfectly complement the boiled mandarins.

Mandarin and Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce Recipe

Serves 6–8


4 mandarins
110 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
320 g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
4 eggs
360 g plain flour
300 g dates, roughly chopped
2 heaped teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
double cream or ice cream, to serve

Butterscotch Sauce
220 g caster sugar
100 g unsalted butter
100 ml cream


Preheat the oven to 190°C fan-forced. Grease a large loaf tin with butter. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to the boil. Lower in the unpeeled mandarins and boil for 45 minutes, then draine

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds  in an electric mixer on medium speed until pale. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. In four batches, add the flour, incorporating each addition before adding the next.

Add the dates and 600 ml of water to a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Tip in the bicarbonate of soda – the mixture will rise and froth as the bicarb is activated. Pour the dates and liquid into the creamed butter and eggs and fold in by hand until combined.

Roughly chop the mandarins into 1 cm chunks, skin and all, and fold them through the batter. Pour the batter into the greased tin, leaving about a 2 cm gap from the top – if you have excess batter, just fill ramekins or coffee cups and cook them for a shorter time.

Place the tin in a deep roasting tin and fill the tin with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf tin. Cover both tins with foil, creating an enclosed water bath and bake for about 55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

To make the butterscotch sauce, add the caster sugar to a very clean saucepan over medium heat. Don’t stir it.
Once the sugar has melted and become a dark caramel colour, add the butter and cream while stirring and immediately remove the pan from the heat. The butterscotch will boil intensely until the temperature drops. If there are any crystallised sugar lumps, pass the sauce through a fine sieve. If not, pour the sauce into a container. Don’t refrigerate as it will harden.

Cut the pudding into thick slices, pour over the butterscotch sauce (reheating if needed) and serve with double cream or ice cream.

Smart Tip:

Keep the scraped vanilla bean in a container of caster sugar to make vanilla sugar, or freeze for another use.

Recipe extracted from The Blue Ducks in the Country by Darren Robertson and Mark La Brooy is published by Plum RRP $39.99


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