When I first saw the sticky date pudding listed on the Persia Grill menu, I had to rack my brains and backtrack: was sticky date pudding an actual Persian specialty? I’ve been reading Marsha Mehran’s novels featuring the indefatigable Aminpour girls and seriously doubt if the dessert was ever mentioned in their pages.
Reading through much of the material available either in books or online, I figured that sticky date puddings are a British or Aussie dessert. They’re quite popular when the weather begins to turn chilly and the winds starts to blow and all for a good reason: times like these, you need something hot and stodgy to keep you warm and perky throughout the season.
At Persia Grill, you can have your sticky pudding with caramel sauce or a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. The day I went over, the wind blew chill and fierce, so ice cream was most certainly out of the question.
Unlike classic date puddings which are steamed in either pudding basins or individually-portioned ramekins, the pudding at PG was baked in a rectangular pan and served in buttery squares chock-filled with chunked dates. Appearance-wise, this causes them to look a little less appealing than those brown domes featured in many Brit cookbooks and cookery magazines.
As the proof of the pudding is always in the eating, I was pleasantly surprised – and then some. The buttery cake was not so sweet and was dense enough to stand up to the equally unctuous caramel sauce. The dates added a crunchy-chewy twist to the texture and were like pockets of honeyed sweetness in the cake. Temp-wise, both cake and sauce were served hot.
I ought to be ashamed of myself for admitting that I did not stop till the pudding was all gone, going so far as to swipe over the dish with a finger for the last dribbles of syrup and cake crumbs. But try it for yourself and see if you don’t do the exact same thing. ;)