This is a family favourite from when I was a little girl growing up in rural New Zealand, veganised from my mothers cookbook she complied of all her recipes, along with treasures from family and friends. It is so nice to be able to enjoy these recipes again, adapted not just to be vegan, but a unrefined version too. I have decided this year to take my Mum’s cookbook and try to transform many of these wonderful recipes into vegan dishes, so my own family can enjoy all my favourite baking from when I was young.
I started baking early, and even used to do it for my father’s shearers and workers! I am not sure what they would think of my vegan food now though! Even though vegan baking is quite different, you can learn fairly quickly what you’re replacing in particular ingredients, like fat or sugar. You can even learn to create them using simple whole ingredients too.
Suma kindly sent me another box of goodies including some fair-trade Suma Cocoa Powder, the inspiration to veganise this old family recipe.
I use either coconut butter, heated till soft, or cashew butter as the dairy butter replacement in this. It works well and neither have any bearing on the overall taste. I also tend to use oat milk in my recipes, but any plant milk can be used here.
You’ll find if you haven’t made a self-saucing pudding before, that it seems like not much pudding mixture and pouring hot water over a bit of an odd thing to do! But the date sugar and cocoa mix that you shake on top of the pudding, well and truly covers the entire thing and then combines with the hot water to create a rich and silky sauce. The date sugar is made from just dates, dried and ground. It can be ground a bit more finely in a blender or similar just before using, it makes it easier to combine with the cocoa. Either way is fine though.
I have yet to blog my homemade date syrup! But its better than store-bought which are heavily refined to filter out the fibre. So you can do a raw or cooked version, the cooked lasts longer and is a better consistency. I combine 1 cup dates with 1 and 1/2 cups water in a pot, boil until dates are soft- about 10 minutes. Then cool and blend, adding more water as needed, I use another cup for nice runny syrup. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.
Make sure you don’t overcook this pudding. I take a peak at 30 minutes and then look to take it out at 40 minutes- right before the hot water sitting on top starts to look completely evaporated. It should sort of sit in it’s own sauce with it bubbling at the edges.
I served this here with a quick cashew cream. I forgot to soak the cashews! So I simply blended 1 cup of cashews to a fine powder, added a date and a few drops of vanilla essence and 1/4 cup of water and blended. Add more water as required.
This recipe is gluten, salt, oil and refined sugar-free
You’ll need a medium sized, deep oven proof pudding dish
Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 cup Gluten-Free wholegrain flour of choice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons of cocoa, I used Suma fair-trade
- 3/4 cup plant milk, I used oat
- 3/4 cup date syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut butter or cashew butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3/4 cup date sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 and 3/4 cup hot water
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Sift all dry ingredients, add date syrup and mix in well.
- If using coconut butter, heat gently in a pan until it softens and resembles nut butter consistency.
- Stir in milk and either softened coconut butter or cashew butter. The consistency should be like a thick brownie batter that you spoon into the dish rather than pour.
- Mix well and spoon and spread into a prepared dish ( you can use coconut butter to grease).
- Combine date sugar and cocoa and shake evenly over the pudding.
- Pour hot water over the back of a spoon, over the sugar and cocoa mix.
- Place in your pre-heated oven for around 40-45 minutes. Test using cake tester, you want a cooked pudding with a thick runny sauce.
- Serve immediately with vegan ice cream or a simple cashew cream.