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Warm and Crusty Date Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

YUMMMM!  What more can I say?!  I made this dessert for a dinner party that I hosted and it was unanimously a hit!  It’s a fairly easy dessert that will warm people’s tummies and satisfy their chocolate craving.  You can make this in one large soufflé dish or in individual ramekins like I did.

SERVES 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted dates (6 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ªF and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Coat a 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish or eight 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick spray.

Place the dates in a saucepan and add 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the dates are very soft and the water is mostly evaporated.  Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add the granulated sugar and vanilla and process until well blended.  Scrape into a large mixing bowl.

Rinse out the saucepan and add the cream.  Bring to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted.  Pour the chocolate into the date mixture and stir until smooth.  Sift together the cocoa powder and flour.  Fold into the chocolate-date mixture with a rubber spatula until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Gently fold them into the date mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish or ramekins and smooth the top with a spatula.  If using ramekins, set them on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake the ramekins for 20 to 25 minutes, the soufflé dish for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the outside of the pudding is set and crusty looking.  Cool until the pudding is just warm, and serve with confectioners’ sugar sifted on top.

Skillet Diner – Seattle, WA

Most people in Seattle know about the airstream trailer food truck – Skillet.  If you haven’t eaten their delicious burger topped with bacon jam…either track down the truck, find it in the grocery store or better yet, head to Skillet Diner for lunch or dinner and bit into a little piece of heaven!

The new diner on the corner or 14th and Union is such a great neighborhood joint where reservations aren’t taken (they say that will happen soon), people are served all beverages in mason jars and the waitstaff seems relaxed and happy to be at work.  The decor is current but still has that nostalgic 50’s diner feel.

The southern fried chicken does NOT disappoint.  Half of a perfectly golden chicken is topped with a black pepper honey drizzle and a side of potato salad.  If you’re feeling up to it, order the cornmeal waffle and go to town!

There are weekly specials as well as the daily menu.  I’m looking forward to going on a Monday to try Mama’s Meatloaf.  Wednesday’s Beer Braised Beef Stroganoff also sounds mighty delicious.  Oh and did I mention you can order breakfast ALL day?!  Genius!

My husband and I love the poutine at Zog’s in Whistler, BC but this version has a little touch of gourmet that is very good!  The serving size is absurdly large but overall it’s a winner in my book!

Friday night special: Chicken and Dumplings.  Pretty good although there was a little too much of the same texture for me.

SOOOO good!  I definitely had order envy this night:)

For dessert we indulged in the bittersweet chocolate pudding which was sprinkled with cocoa nibs and sea salt and had pieces of pie crust stuck in it…two thumbs up!

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