Sticky Toffee Pudding

Recipe adapted from BBC good food

I have fallen from a great height into this pudding. But don’t worry. I’m OK.

David Shrigley

The warmth and comfort you get when you indulge in this simple English pudding is the same shared by the person who introduced this recipe to us. I have always wanted to have an elder sister and having her close by is my best bet to almost having one. Her sticky toffee pudding is one that we all look forward to when we meet up, especially my husband, who has hailed it as his all-time-favourite.

The recipe from which I adapted requires sugars of different types, but I have experimented with all varieties of sugar and have realised that it doesn’t effect the taste. This is also a recipe that you could prepare and leave outside. Especially during Christmas and other times when friends and family get together, finding place in my fridge for a pudding is a balancing act I would rather not perform. Moreover since it’s a baked pudding, the chances of failure are zilch. The baked date based sponge and the toffee sauce can take a stand on its own. So if you are like me, adding an extra portion of toffee sauce in the making is not a bad idea!

Ingredients

For the pudding

  • 225g whole medjool dates/any soft good quality dates
  • 175ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g plain flour, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 85g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g demerara sugar/ brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 100ml milk
  • cream or custard or ice cream to serve (optional)

For the toffee sauce

  • 175g light muscovado sugar or powdered brown sugar
  • 50g butter, cut into pieces
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp black treacle

For the treacle

  • 50 granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • I/4 lime
  • 200 gm granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water ( add more if needed)

Preparation

Finely chop the dates and soak them in boiling water for around 30 minutes.

You could use muffin/cupcake trays for individual puddings or use a loaf tin or a baking dish of your choice to make it. I just line my cupcake tray with liners as I find the individual portions are easier to manage. The quantity is sufficient for almost 14-16 cupcakes. I used additional ramekins for the batter that didn’t fit in my standard cupcake tray. If you are using other baking dishes, grease and flour or line them with greaseproof paper .

While the dates are soaking, we can get the rest of the ingredients ready. It is always good to have all ingredients such as butter, eggs and milk at room temperature before you start.

To soften your butter and get it to room temperature, add boiling water to a large cup( just enough to cover the butter without touching it). Throw the water aside, and now use the warmed cup to cover the butter.

You could also follow the video below from Sally’s Baking Addiction for another way to soften butter.

The original recipe required different types of brown sugar, but I have tried with various combinations and have realised that the end result is more or less the same that my family did not figure out the difference till I let them know that I did. (These experiments were also one of the reason for delays in doing this post but pure laziness takes 80% of the excesses list)

If you are using self raising flour, skip the 2 tsp baking powder.

Sift Flour, baking soda and baking powder thrice for it to be evenly distributed.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Be mindful of the fact that since there is a fairly large portion of raising agents, only fill 3/4th the container. There needs to be sufficient room for it to rise.

Treacle Sauce

If you do not have readymade treacle, please follow the video below by Steve Owens to make treacle at home as it is essential for this recipe.

I did follow the same recipe but I made it with quarter of the content as we only need 3tbsp for this recipe.

Granulated Sugar -50g , Water at room temperature – 1 tbsp.. let the sugars start to burn to a very dark brown almost black . turn the heat off and let it cool a little. Add 125g sugar and 1/4 cup of boiling hot water. Squeeze a bit of lime juice and a sliver of lime and let it boil for 30-40 minutes. You might need to add more water till you get the right consistency.

I tried the recipe with lime instead of lemon and it worked just fine. I did have to add water and reheat in the end to get the right consistency. If you have ever had Ferradol, I would say that is the right consistency.This is crucial to this recipe , so please don’t skip this ingredient.

Method

Pudding Base

Mash the soaked dates to a fine paste. Add a tsp of vanilla essence or extract into the dates mixture.

Beat the softened butter and brown sugar in a deep bowl till it is well combined. The mixture would look a little grainy.

Add the the eggs one by one and continue to beat the mixture till it gets smooth.

Now add 2 tbsp of treacle and beat it into the mixture until it is well blended.

Divide the flour into three parts. Alternatively fold it in with milk.

Stir in the mashed dates into the pudding batter. The batter could look curdled at this stage but that is perfectly fine.

Pour the batter into the cupcake/muffin trays, ramekins or your prepared baking dish.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes or till firm and risen.

Toffee Sauce

Mix the sugar, butter and half the 225ml of cream in a sauce pan.

Slowly bring it to a boil and let it combine. Keep stirring continuously till the sugar has completely dissolved.

Add a tablespoon of treacle to it and let it combine.

Slowly increase the heat and let it boil for 2-3 minutes till you get a toffee colour.

Stir occasionally to make sure that the sauce does not get burnt.

Take it off the flame and beat in the rest of the cream to complete the making of the toffee sauce.

Assembly

Leave the cake part in the tray for a little while .

Remove the baked base and pour half the portion in the bottom of an oven proof dish/baking tray.

Place the baked base on top of it and pour the rest of the toffee sauce.

Whenever you are ready to serve it, cover the dish in foil, raised enough so that it doesn’t come in contact with the pudding.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 15 minutes till the sauce is bubbling.

Serve this with cold ice cream, clotted cream or custard.

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