You will need
250 g stoned dates, diced
1 t (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup (180 ml) boiling water
250 g butter at room temperature
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 x 600 g Ina Paarman’s Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or crème fraiche
½ cup (50 g) pecan nuts, chopped
½ cup (125 g) sugar
½ cup (125 ml) water
1 T (15 ml) butter
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence
¾ cup (180 ml) brandy, sherry or fresh orange juice
1 cup (250 ml) fresh cream
pinch of salt
¼ t (1 ml) ground cinnamon
¼ t (1 ml) ground ginger
1 T (15 ml) sugar
1 t (5 ml) powdered gelatine
1 T (15 ml) brandy
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the dates. Pour the boiling water over them. Leave to cool.
Adjust oven shelf to middle position. Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter two 24 cm oven proof pie dishes.
Ignore package instructions and follow the method below.
Cream butter until soft. Add 1 egg and 1 T (15 ml) dry Cake Mix at a time, beating after each addition, until you have used all 3 eggs. Add sour cream and beat it in. Add half of the remaining Cake Mix and all of the date mixture. Stir to blend with a spatula. Add the remaining Cake Mix and fold in.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two pie plates. Sprinkle the nuts over. Bake for 35 minutes.
Bring the sugar, water and butter to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and brandy. Prick the tops of the puddings as soon as they come out of the oven. Pour the warm sauce over the hot puddings. Leave to cool. Serve with Spiced Brandy Cream and top with orange zest.
Spiced Brandy Cream
To make the Brandy cream, half whip the cream with the salt and spices. Add the sugar mixed with gelatine powder and whip until firm. Fold in brandy. Cover and chill.