Credit: Sue Ashworth; Photography: Jonathan Short
The best ever recipe for this classic pudding!
Cooking time: 35min
- First of all, make the sticky toffee sauce. Put the butter, muscovado sugar and golden syrup into a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Take care that the sauce doesn’t boil. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool for 5min. Add a pinch of salt, then stir in the double cream.
- Remove the stones from the dates, then chop them roughly. Put them into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over them. Pour over 300ml of boiling water. Leave them to soak for 10min while you make the sponge – this helps to soften them. (If you’re not keen on dates, you could use raisins or sultanas instead).
- You’ll need 8 small pudding basins or ramekins (or a mixture of both) with a 200ml capacity. Grease them all with a little butter. Pour half the toffee sauce into the bases of the basins or ramekins, then transfer them to the freezer while you make the sponge. The reason for chilling the sauce like this is to help to keep a separate layer at the base of the puddings.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, Fan Oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy using a hand-held whisk. Beat the eggs together, then whisk them into the mixture a little at a time. Stir in the black treacle and vanilla extract.
- Mix the flour and spice together, then sift them into the creamed mixture. Fold them in gently using a large metal spoon. Next, use a hand-held blender to blend half the dates and all their soaking liquid to a puree. Stir this into the creamed mixture with the remaining dates. If you don’t have a hand-held blender, transfer to a regular blender and blend for just a few seconds.
- Remove the pudding basins or ramekins from the freezer and place them onto a baking sheet. Spoon the sponge mixture over the sauce. If you are using ceramic dishes, wait a few minutes for the dishes to warm up a little, otherwise they could crack if it they are transferred immediately to the hot oven. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25min.
- Just before the puddings are cooked, reheat the remaining sauce. Take the puddings from the oven and use a skewer or wooden kebab stick to make a few holes all over the surface. Spoon some of the remaining sauce over the hot puddings and leave for a few moments to soak in. Turn out the puddings and serve with the rest of the sauce poured on top.