August 4, 2009

Shepherd's Pie & Sticky Date Pudding

We had 2 overseas guests who stayed over at our place for the past 2 nights. In order to welcome them, I thought I will whip up some dinner for us that we enjoy some food and fellowship. (Incidentally, we also acknowledged/celebrated my anniversary of moving to AU exactly 2 years ago!)

Since my guests usually eat asian/chinese food (they live in SG), I figure that I will cook an 'ang moh' western dinner. Decided on a lamb and potato pie, which is very much like shepherd's pie but the recipe uses lamb mince instead of beef mince that I often see in shepherd's pie. I got the recipe off masterchef's website.

However I could not really find lamb mince so I used beef mince instead. And I have also added chopped zucchini and mushrooms with the mince to increase the veggies proportion. It worked out well and there was sufficient to feed all 4 of us (with seconds) and hubby's lunch today.

For dessert, I attempted another masterchef recipe - sticky date pudding with almond praline and butterscotch sauce. This was what 3 of the contestants had to cook during one of their pressure test. It looks easy enough and really it wasn't difficult, except that it was my first time making praline and I had burnt my caramel a bit and hence there was a bitter taste to it. The butterscotch sauce was really easy to make too and you should make it just prior to serving.

Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and (pathetic-looking) almond praline

The pudding was the more tricky bit (but really not too difficult). First, you have to cook the chopped dried dates in some water and then add some bicarb. Somehow that breaks down the dates into a mashed state. Allow that to cool and then add it into the typical cake mixture, after the usual butter and sugar mix, adding eggs and thereafter, adding flour, etc. Place the batter into moulds (I used my muffin trays instead) and bake it in the oven. What I did wrong, was I just placed my muffin trays into the oven as if I was baking muffin cakes. But really, I was supposed to put the tray onto another baking tray filled with some water. I think this might make a difference in the texture.

I kind of overcooked the date cake/pudding, even though it was a shorter time as said (My oven is always acts up, which allows me to bake something in a shorter than required time). Anyhow, the date cake/pudding turned out really good with the butterscotch sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to complete it! It was not too sweet... and for that little effort, the result was greatly satisfying! My usually-do-not-like-desserts-nor-sweets hubby had a 2nd go at it! So for those of you who like sticky date pudding, this is an easy and really rewarding recipe!

Watch the masterchef video of the contestants undergoing the pressure test cooking this dish!

1 other thoughts:

The Rust said...
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