Sticky toffee pudding is not the lightest of desserts but it is wonderfully rich and flavoursome. In this recipe the dates are blended to a smooth paste with hot water so that they flavour the pudding evenly. The use of dark muscovado sugar in both the pudding and the sauce adds a treacly bitterness which counteracts the sweetness wonderfully.
The sauce already contains cream so strictly speaking it doesn’t really need any further addition but it does work wonderfully well served with a scoop of clotted cream or vanilla ice cream. If you have any toffee sauce left it is perfect served hot, on its own, poured over vanilla ice cream. In fact it is worth making especially for that purpose.
175g Medjool Dates (stoned)
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
300ml boiling water
50g Softened Butter
80g Golden Caster Sugar
80g Dark Muscovado Sugar
2 Eggs (beaten)
175g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Vanilla Pod
For the Sauce
200g/7oz Light Muscovado Sugar
200g/7oz Dark Muscovado sugar
1 Vanilla Pod
250ml/9fl oz double cream
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Butter a cake tin – 24cm x 24cm (8” x 8”).
To Make the Sauce
Split the vanilla pod and remove the seeds with the back of a knife. Put the vanilla seeds and the rest of the ingredients into a pan and heat slowly until the butter has melted. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil gently for a few minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside but keep warm.
To Make the Pudding
Put the dates into a food processor and pulse until chopped. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the boiling water, pour over the dates and blitz until blended.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir until combined.
Split the vanilla pod and remove the seeds with the back of a knife. Scrape the seeds into the date and hot water mix and pulse once or twice to mix. Add this date mix to the bowl and stir well until completely combined.
Pour the pudding batter into the tin and place into the oven for 30 minutes until firm to the touch and then take out of the oven.
Prick the top of the pudding with a fork and pour over half of the sauce. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving with extra sauce and possibly some cream or vanilla ice cream.
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