Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
For caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F. Stir dates with 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Gently boil, stirring often, for 3 min. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Let stand 10 min.
- Butter 12 cups in a muffin tin. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Stir flour with baking powder and ginger in a small bowl. Beat butter with sugar in a large bowl, using a hand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in dates. Spoon batter halfway full into each cup.
- Set muffin tin in a large roasting pan. Place pan in centre of oven. Pour hot water into pan halfway up sides of muffin tin. Bake for 15 min. Reduce heat to 325F. Continue baking until a skewer inserted in centre of puddings comes out clean, about 15 more min. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack. Cool 10 min. Run a knife along inside edges to unmold puddings.
- For Warm Caramel Sauce: Melt 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup butter in a small pan over medium-high. Stir in 1/4 cup 35% cream. Boil gently until slightly thickened, about 3 min. Serve warm over puddings.
Bake puddings, then wrap and refrigerate for several days or freeze up to 2 weeks. To reheat, defrost first, then place a few puddings on a microwave-safe dinner plate. Tent with wax paper and microwave on medium just until puddings are warm in the centre, about 1 min. Repeat with remaining puddings. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days. Reheat in microwave on high for 1 min. before serving.