Let’s Cook: Sticky Toffee Pudding

My sticky toffee pudding recipe is one that has stood for me, a test of time. A classic and firm favourite with many.

The recipe itself came from a chef I worked with in Glasgow and has followed me to where I am now. A couple of tweaks is all it took to suit people’s tastes. Firstly the dates are puréed before going into the sponge as this makes the sponge more moist and secondly for those who say they don’t like dates. The depth of sugar is up to individual tastes, I like to use light muscavado sugar as a happy medium but for those who like a sponge and sauce darker and a bit more moody try a dark muscavado. For visual effect 1 tsp of gravy browning liquid can be added or 2 tbsp of of treacle. I like to do this by hand as it is so simple and I get more satisfaction from it, plus you have more control.

Oven: 170 degrees Celsius
10 inch square baking tray or 8 individual pudding mounds (roughly 200ml)

Ingredients:
For the sponge:
250g whole pitted dates
200 ml boiling water
2 tea bags
2 tsp instant coffee granules
1tsp vanilla extract
250g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
100g stork margarine
150g light muscavado sugar
3 large eggs

For the sauce:
180g salted butter
180g light muscavado sugar
350 ml double cream

Method:

  • In a bowl put the dates, tea bags, coffee, vanilla and cover with the boiling water. Leave to infuse until cold. While the date mix is cooling cream the margarine and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sieve the flour and bicarbonate soda into another bowl.
  • While the dates are almost cooled you can get on with the sauce. Melt the butter carefully. Add the sugar, give it a quick mix, followed by the cream. Bring to a gentle boil for about 30 seconds.Carefully remove both tea bags from the dates, and give then a gentle squeeze before removing and be careful not to burst them. In a food processor, add the date mix, browning or treacle. Now even though the packet says pitted dates there are the rouge stones that get through, to avoid a mess, place a dish towel over the processor before switching on, if a stone gets caught in the blades you will know, but is easy enough at this stage to remove. Blitz to a very fine paste.
  • Crack the eggs into a separate dish one at a time before adding to the creamed sugar mix (to capture any rouge eggs, shame to ruin things at this stage) along with 1 tbsp of flour. Mix until incorporated and repeat until all the eggs are used up.
  • Gently fold the remaining flour into the mix and at the stage where you think it’s almost incorporated and the cooled date mix. Gently bring it all together and no more. The mix it’s self will look like it’s beginning to almost rise and kind of soufflé in the bowl as it is with all,the little air pockets.Divide the mix between the pudding basins or pour into your tray.
  • Bake individually for 10-15 mins or the tray for 15-20 or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Serve with toffee sauce poured over each portion, cream or ice cream or all of the above.

The sponge is actually best after a couple of days if stored correctly. It freezes well as does the sauce but freeze separately. If you are feeling adventurous and depending on the time of year, why not spice it up a little by adding a tsp of perhaps mixed spice of ground ginger? Why not a a dash of rum or whisky to the sauce as a little treat?

I’d love to see what you create! Upload a picture to Instagram and tag me at @TheNiseachChef or use the hashtag #TheNiseachChef

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