- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsallted butter, divided
- 7 oz dried figs, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 8 (6-oz) ramekins using 2 tablespoons butter.
To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add figs, dates, and water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a bowl and using a hand mixer, add remaining 14 tablespoons butter and superfine sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Fold in flour mixture, pureed fig mixture and chocolate. Divide the mixture between buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove ramekins from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Unmold onto small serving plate. With a knife, cut a cross in the top of puddings for the sauce.
To make the sauce, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add light brown sugar, cream, and butter and, stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.