This gluten-free version of a nostalgic favourite is a heartwarming pud for cold nights.
Makes 4 or 5 individual puddings using 7.5cm aluminium pudding tins or similar sized foil containers.
For the puddings
50g soft dates, roughly chopped
150ml ginger beer
2 large eggs
3 tbsp mild and light olive oil (or other light coloured oil)
75g soft brown sugar
50g rice flour
50g chestnut flour
30g ground almonds
2 bulbs of preserved stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1 - 2 tsp ground ginger
syrup from the jar of stem ginger
For the sweet white sauce
a strip of lemon peel
a small stick of cinnamon
250ml full-fat milk
50g unsalted butter
20g rice flour
25g caster sugar
grated nutmeg to taste (optional)
To make the puddings, soak the dates and sultanas in the ginger beer, cover and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan/gas 4.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and sugar for a few minutes until frothy.
Add the rice flour, chestnut flour, ground almonds, chopped ginger, baking powder, xanthan gum and ground ginger to taste, along with the fruit and its ginger beer marinade, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Divide the mixture equally between the tins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes until well risen and firm on top and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out reasonably clean.
Leave them in their tins for about 5 minutes, then slide a thin knife around the inner rim of the tins and upturn the puddings onto a plate. Brush with a little stem ginger syrup.
To make the sauce, add the lemon peel and cinnamon stick to the milk, bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes, then strain.
Melt half the butter in a small pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
Gradually stir in the flavoured milk.
Add the sugar and the rest of the butter in small pieces.
If liked, finish with a little grated nutmeg.
If you want to make the puddings ahead, let them cool and then store them in an airtight tin for a day or two (or you can freeze them). Warm them up with a quick blast in the microwave or in a cool oven.