Recipe by Dorah Sitole

Dive into this decadent dessert from Dorah Sitole’s upcoming cookbook.



  • 125ml (½ cup) boiling water
  • 125g compressed stoned dates, chopped
  • 3ml (½ teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
  • 125g (½ cup) butter
  • ½ cup (125ml) soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 250ml (1 cup) cake wheat flour
  • 2ml (½ teaspoon) baking powder
  • 1ml (¼ tsp) salt
  • 3ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 3ml (½ teaspoon) ground ginger
  • 1ml ( ¼ teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • grated peel of 1 orange
  • 50g (½ cup) chopped pecan nuts


  • 150g ( ¾ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) butter
  • 90ml (⅓ cup ) water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon)  vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 60ml (¼ cup) orange juice


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 23cm pie dish.

For the Pudding: Pour boiling water over chopped dates, and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, add bicarbonate of soda. Mix and leave to cool.

Cream butter and sugar until creamy, beat in egg to create a smooth mixture.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg over the creamed mixture, fold in to mix. Stir in dates, nuts and orange zest.

Spoon into a 1½ litre baking dish Bake in a preheated for 30-40 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

For the syrup: Heat butter, sugar and water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil for 1 minute, and add cinnamon. Remove from heat and stir in the brandy, vanilla and salt. Infuse while the pudding is baking. When the pudding is baked, remove cinnamon stick from syrup and pour over pudding.