The Maori Hangi is so much more than a traditional method of cooking. It’s a special gathering bringing together communities and connecting people over a delicious meal left to cook for several hours in wire baskets in an underground pit.
At our recent visit to the Maori Tamaki Village in New Zealand, we were blessed to celebrate this memorable event. Succulent meats and freshly grown root vegetables were on the menu, as well a tasty pudding that was also cooked in the Hangi, strategically stacked over the top of the meats and the vegetables. To my surprise, this pudding served with some custard or cream, was just delightful with a slight smoky aroma and flavour.
Puddings are welcomed any time of the year at my place, but even more so in the colder months, and as Melbourne is currently experiencing quite a cold front, a mouthwatering, warming date and walnut pudding does not go astray!
A delicious date dessert…
Date & Walnut Pudding
250g pitted dried dates, chopped
1 cup water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda100g butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
25g butter, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease an 18 x 28cm baking dish.
In a saucepan, cook dates with the water over a medium-low heat for 8 minutes until the water is nearly absorbed by the dates. Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. Stir in eggs and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the date mixture and mix well. Gently fold in flour and nuts.
Sauce: Place boiling water, sugar and butter in a heatproof jug. Stir until butter has melted. Pour boiling water, over the back of a large metal spoon, over the mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top has set. Stand for 5 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.