Christmas is a bit of a bitter sweet time in our house. As I’ve probably mentioned before, my Mum was a massive holiday fanatic. I grew up with a Christmas business being run out of our house and I’ve grown to associate anything Santa related to her and my Dad. She made that one day so incredibly special, my heart feels as though it may burst when I think about all past December 25ths. 

As I’ve gotten older, my memories seem to blur together, I can’t always decipher what really happened or what I maybe imagined as a kid. But I’ll always remember my sister waking up first and coming to get me, and together creeping down the stairs to see the pile of presents. The smell of blueberry muffins in the air and of course, my Mum usually already up preparing the coffee so my Dad wouldn’t be quite so morning grumpy. 

If I close my eyes I can almost taste the memory it feels so close. The presents were amazing but it’s funny how it’s really the food I can remember the absolute most. This pudding is something I’d like to add to my new traditions, something I can start making every year that maybe my kids will look forward to one day. But we still make the food she always made. It always feels like shes right there when we do. 

Its been a hectic past couple of days for me. Between working over time and Christmas shopping I am absolutely frothing of the idea of what looks like a whole week off come next Tuesday! I’m really looking forward to some relaxing and family time and I hope no matter what holiday you guys celebrate you’ll find some time off too. And maybe if you get a chance, try out this pudding recipe and let me know what you think!

Pudding

2 cups pitted and chopped dates
2 cups water
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups gluten free baking flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sweetener (I always prefer monk fruit)
3 eggs

Sauce

2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup molasses + 1 tablespoon

couple of sprigs of rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Pudding

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 8″ round or square baking dish
-In a small sauce pan bring the dates and water to a boil and allow to simmer until the dates start to cook down. After about five-ten minutes, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. It will be a thick paste, but lumps are good! Let this cool on the side.
-In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
-In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or hand held to beat the butter on medium speed until whipped nicely. Add the sweetener and continue to beat for about 5 minutes.
-Add one egg at a time, continuing to beat after each addition at medium.
-Scrape the sides down and carefully add the dry ingredients and mix on low until evenly combined.
-With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dates and mix until just combined.
-Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 55-65 minutes until a knife or tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean or the top pops back up when pressed softly.
-Transfer to a cooling rack to rest.

Sauce

_With the oven still set at 350 degrees, line a baking sheet.
-In a bowl, mix the strawberries and a tablespoon of molasses. Pour onto baking sheet and distribute the rosemary(or herb of choice) on top.
-Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the strawberries are roasted and bubbling nicely. 
-While the strawberries are still hot, pour into a food processor or blender and add the rest of the molasses, butter, honey, and salt. Here is where you can add or remove as you please. I love molasses, but if its a bit too strong of a flavour for you, you can put a tad less and substitute more honey or maple syrup even! 
-When the mix is nice and blended together, you can add a bit of water if it is too thick. 
-When it is the texture of your liking, pour over pudding and feast! You can pop the pudding back in the oven to re heat if you like it hot or enjoy it cooler as well.

Enjoy!


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