Excuse me, while I shrink myself down to Honey I Shrunk The Kids-size and then make myself a bed out of this pudding. There is something about the smell of this thing, with it’s subtle spices, buttery base and sweet dates, that sings a tune of ultimate comfort to me.
So much so that I would happily go to sleep on it. And then I would wake up, and harness one of the ants that came to feast on the pudding and ride it to safety just like the kid from HISTK…you know what, never mind. Back to dessert!
Sticky Toffee Pudding is a big, beautiful British classic! Sticky, lush dates folded into a brown sugar and butter sponge base, which gets smothered in toffee sauce when it’s still warm out of the oven. What you get is a beautifully flavoursome, puddingy cake that’s totally sticky and soused with gorgeous toffee.
Plus, the whole thing comes together very simply – no heavy machinery required, except to cream together the butter and sugar – and the toffee sauce is just three ingredients in a pot, brought to the boil and given a stir. No purees, no processors, no sugar thermometers, no crust rolling, no nothing!
If you didn’t see where I was going with this already, I’m saying that this is absolutely the perfect thing for any holiday dinner. Friends over for a pre-Thanksgiving or pre-Christmas shindig? Make this. Looking for something unusual to add to your family dinner? This is the one. It’s got all the warm holiday flavours and that decadent, cozy holiday feeling that this time of year is all about.
The real bonus is that this doubles as a delicious morning-tea treat; it’s perfect next to a cup of coffee or a mug of tea, sliced straight out of the fridge. My one non-traditional addition is a few tablespoons of spicy stem ginger. It comes in jars, and it’s basically candied ginger stored in syrup, it’s beautifully tender and adds another dimension that I adore. If you’re not a fan, or you can’t find it, no sweat – just leave it out!
- 1½ cups (200g) pitted dates, chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
- 1 stick + 6 tbsp (200g) butter
- ⅓ cup (75g) dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar (or granulated sugar)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 1 + ½ cups (225g) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp chopped stem ginger in syrup
- 1 cup (225g) dark brown sugar
- 1 stick (115g) butter
- ½ cup (125ml) heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and grease a 9 inch cake tin or similar sized baking dish.
- First, place the chopped dates into a heatproof jug and cover them with the boiling water. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, sugars and spices until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between and scraping the bowl as necessary. The mixture should be very pale.
- Add in the flour and baking powder, the stem ginger, and the dates with all of the water and stir everything together until just combined.
- Scrape the mixture into your greased tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the pudding springs back when pressed and a skewer comes out clean.
- While the pudding is baking, make the sauce. Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Once all the ingredients are melted and combined, boil for about a minute or two, until slightly thickened.
- While the pudding is still hot, pour a drizzle of sauce over the top, and then dish it out and let each person pour over more gorgeous toffee sauce as they eat.
- This is lovely with fresh cream and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.