6 - 8ounceswhole, medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped (1 cup lightly packed)
1cupflour (whole wheat or spelt, or all-purpose)
1/2cuplight or dark brown sugar
1/2cupbuttermilk or milk
1 1/2cupsbrewed coffee
2/3cupdark brown sugar
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º. Have a 2-quart baking dish handy.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the buttermilk, butter and dates to make a thick batter, and spread in the bottom of the baking dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the coffee, butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring to melt the butter and sugar. Pour over the batter. Bake the pudding for 30 - 40 minutes; the pudding will look dry and cracked on top, and a thick sauce will bubble up around the edges.
Douse the hot pudding with the brandy. Scoop servings of the warm pudding into bowls and top with a pour of heavy cream, crème anglaise or ice cream. The pudding keeps well in the fridge for up to a week; re-warm before serving.
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Seasonal Fruit Desserts.Feel free to add 1 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts along with the dates as per the original recipe; I omitted them this time because I wanted a smooth pudding, but I plan to add them the next time I make it (which, I hope, will be soon!).For serving: 3 tablespoons brandy, dark or gold rum, or whiskey cold heavy cream, creme anglaise, or vanilla ice cream.Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.