hot puddings

Hot puddings


These nostalgic winter puddings are guaranteed to warm you up. Plus, they don’t require any fancy ingredients. In fact, when it’s too cold to go out, you could probably rustle something up by simply looking through your pantry. The golden syrup dumplings are from my childhood, still a great favourite of my brother. They may not look pretty, but are a taste sensation. Warm, soft dumpling pillows are permeated by the hot sweet golden syrup that they are cooked in. Gooey, sticky and sweet, yet light in texture, they are simply perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for that hot/cold wintry dessert experience.

Warming to this theme, you really can’t go past a good sticky date pudding. Another simple recipe, this one makes a large quantity, so you have enough for leftovers. Which is just as well, because it reheats easily and the butterscotch sauce is good on just about anything.

Finally, creamed rice just got better. Use short grain risotto rice and the grains swell and absorb the flavours for an impossibly creamy result. Balance with the tartness of stewed rhubarb (or whatever other fruit you have at hand) and it’s bliss.



Mum’s golden syrup dumplings


golden syrup dumplings photo Marina Oliphant


This is my Mum’s recipe. It just goes to show how simple ingredients can be combined to make a really delicious pudding. Best eaten immediately, although I’d be surprised if there were any left over.



2 cups Self raising flour

2 tbsp butter

2 large eggs

½ (half) cup milk


3 cups water

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

To make the batter, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.

Place the syrup ingredients in a large frypan and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Place large spoonfuls of batter into the pan, allowing room for spreading. Cover with a lid or foil, reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream.

Makes 12 dumplings.

Sticky date pudding


sticky date pudding photo Marina Oliphant


Everyone should have a sticky date pudding recipe. This makes a large quantity, but could easily be made in individual ramekins, too. Keeps well and reheats easily. Store the butterscotch sauce in a screw top jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.


500g pitted dates

750ml water

25g bicarbonate soda

150g butter

150g brown sugar

125g caster sugar

5 eggs

420g plain flour

butterscotch sauce:

100g butter

150g soft brown sugar

100g white sugar

650g golden syrup

200ml thickened cream


Preheat oven to 160C fan forced.

Combine water and dates in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add bicarbonate soda and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add butter and both sugars and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat until sugar dissolves. Blend mixture with a stick blender and allow to cool slightly. Add eggs and flour and mix thoroughly.

Place in greased and lined 25cm square cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.

To make butterscotch sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan with the sugar and golden syrup. Stir slowly and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes. Stir in cream and continue to stir for 4-5 minutes to ensure the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and serve with pudding.

serves 10.

Creamed rice with stewed rhubarb


rice pudding photo Marina Oliphant


Creamed rice is my go-to dessert when there’s nothing in the house and it’s too cold to venture out.


½ (half) cup risotto rice

3 cups full cream milk

200ml thickened cream

50g caster sugar

1 vanilla bean, split

1 bunch rhubarb

1 cup sugar

Place rice in medium saucepan with 2 ½ cups water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, drain and rinse rice under cold water.

Return rice to clean saucepan, add milk, cream, caster sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour until rice is tender and liquid is thick.

Whilst the rice is cooking, place remaining cup of sugar in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and heat gently until sugar has dissolved. Add rhubarb and cook gently for a few minutes until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Ladle the creamed rice into serving bowls with the stewed rhubarb.

Serves 4.


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