Sticky toffee pudding

For a gloriously decadent, gangerously more-ish pudding try Paul Bloxham's luxurious version of a much-loved nursery classic
By Paul Bloxham
Sticky toffee pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 350 g dates, itted and roughly chopped
  • 550 ml water
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 375 g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g demerara sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • double cream, to serve

For the butterscotch sauce:

  • 250 g brown sugar
  • splash of brandy
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line a loaf tin with parchment or waxed paper.

2. Combine the dates and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the baking soda, which will foam up as it's added in, and set aside.

3. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

4. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the Demerara sugar to the butter, and cream until fluffy.

5. Without stopping the mixer, add 2 of the eggs and the banana and mix until combined.

6. Add the remaining 2 eggs and the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the date mixture and mix until combined. Repeat until all the flour mixture and the dates are incorporated into the batter.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake about 40 minutes, until firm and set in the centre.

8. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. When cool, turn out of the pan into a roasting tray and peel off the parchment paper.

9. To make the butterscotch sauce, combine the brown sugar, brandy and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, until the mixture caramelises and turns brown. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the double cream and vanilla extract.

10. When ready to serve pudding, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Pour the sauce evenly over the date pudding. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the date pudding heated through, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whip some more double cream into soft peaks and reserve.

11. Cut the cake into squares and serve with whipped cream.

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