I always say that a cookbook is worth its price to me if there’s even just one standout recipe in it or something I make again and again as part of my regular repertoire. Flipping through Catherine Fulvio’s latest cookbook, Catherine’s Family Kitchen, and seeing this recipe for apricot, date and Irish stout slices with stout cream sauce, I knew it was that kind of recipe. With a name like that, how could it not be?
This is Catherine Fulvio’s take on a traditional sticky toffee pudding, adding an Irish twist with the addition of the stout. It’s the kind of treat that’s perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon and it gets even better after a day or two.
Apricot, Date and Irish Stout Slices with Stout Cream Sauce
adapted from Catherine’s Family Kitchen by Catherine Fulvio
Makes 9 squares
The next time I make this, I’m going to jazz it up a bit more with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a little ground ginger, or maybe some orange zest to give it a lift. Catherine says the stout cream sauce is also delicious with ice cream (you could gild the lily and drizzle it over brown bread and Irish stout ice cream) and that it freezes well too.
for the slices:
150 g (1 cup) stoned dates
120 g (3/4 cup) dried apricots, chopped
150 ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) Irish stout
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
75 ml (1/3 cup) whiskey
1 teaspoon baking soda
175 g (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) Demerara sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
180 g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
100 g (1 cup) chopped walnuts
for the sauce:
75 g (5 tablespoons) butter
75 ml (1/3 cup) Irish stout
75 ml (1/3 cup) double cream
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a 21 cm (8 inch) square tin with parchment paper.
Put the dates, apricots, stout, water, whiskey and baking soda in a saucepan. Place over a gentle heat until the dates soften and break down, stirring occasionally. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.
Fold the flour, walnuts and the cooled date mixture into the egg mix and transfer to the prepared tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Cut into 9 squares.
To make the sauce, place the butter, stout, cream and honey in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat until the honey has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Serve warm, drizzled over the slices.