The Organised Author

Tipsy Tart a recipe from South Africa

Tipsy Tart a recipe from South Africa

I discovered this lovely recipe last Christmas. December is pretty hot in Auckland (seasons are inverted in the southern hemisphere compared to the northern one, and summer here starts on the first of December.)
We usually spend Christmas or Boxing Day on the beach or doing a barbeque, and I have a friend, Frances, who loves to experiment in the kitchen and try new things. She’s seventy and is the most active and energetic person I know. (We call her Frenzy :) )
Anyway, back from South Africa, Frances found this delicious and quick alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding.

250g of flour
125g of dates (stoned and chopped)
125g of butter (unsalted) I use the one with added cream
125ml of boiling water
80g of brown sugar
50g of pine seeds
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp of allspice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
1 tsp of cocoa powder
½ tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of rising powder
Grated peel of 1 orange
160g of brown sugar
20g of butter
90ml of water
120ml of brandy
Vanilla extract


Put the boiling water over the chopped dates in a pan and bring to the boil. Let it simmers for a few minutes, then remove from heat and add the baking soda. It should form a nice and frothy foam. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat the butter and the sugar to form a cream, then add the egg, the flour, the spices, the cocoa, the orange zest, the pine seeds and the rising powder. Add the dates and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish and cook in the over (180C static) until spongy.
Meanwhile prepare the syrup. Mix all the ingredients together, except for the brandy, and heat until the butter is melted. Set it aside to cool for a moment then add the brandy.
Add the syrup to the cake while it’s cooking in the oven, distributing it throughout the cake. Prepare more syrup if necessary. Different types of flour tend to absorb more or less syrup.
And enjoy!
If you want to make a kid-friendly tipsy tart, or are worried about Great-aunt Bessie’s blood pressure and don’t want to hear her sing all day, you can substitute the brandy with orange juice.
Book to go with the tipsy tart: Kiss Of Steel by Bec McMasters.