I’ve eaten a few sticky toffee puddings in my time but I’ve never made one so, when I had a recent request to make it for Sunday lunch, I had to do some research. There are lots of different recipes for this light sponge pudding made with chopped dates, topped with a delicious toffee sauce and some clotted cream or ice cream but this is my ‘best of breed’ version. I like a touch of black treacle in the pudding batter to add colour but avoid adding anything else sweet so that the toffee sauce can do the real talking. I cooked this in a cake tin and then cut it into squares to serve with the sauce poured over it – more elegant for a dinner party, or you could also make it in a pudding dish and serve the sauce in a jug on the side.
- 130g chopped dried dates
- 225ml water
- 1 scant tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 40g softened unsalted butter
- 130g caster sugar
- 2 tsps black treacle
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 175g plain flour
- 1 scant tsp baking powder
- To serve: clotted cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- Toffee sauce: 225ml double cream, 170g dark soft brown sugar, 75g butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a cake tin approx 20 x 20 cm.
- Put the dates, water, bicarb and vanilla in a small pan and bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To make the toffee sauce simply put the sugar, butter and cream in a pan and leave on a low heat. Stir it occasionally until the butter and sugar melt. It should form a delicious toffee sauce pretty much all by itself. Set aside until you need to use it and reheat to pour over the pudding when it is ready.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. This not much butter for the amount of sugar so the butter must be nice and soft before beating. Add the beaten egg slowly. Add a tablespoon of flour if it looks like it’s going to curdle. Fold in the remaining flour and then the date mixture and the treacle. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before turning out onto a cutting board. Remove the baking parchment.
- Cut into six even squares, plate each portion and pour over the reheated toffee sauce. Serve with a spoonful of clotted cream or vanilla ice cream.
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