Sticky Toffee Pudding

The addition of dates soaked in tea creates a moist pudding, which, when served with the rich toffee sauce, provides the best combination for a winter pudding.

Serves: 4 slices
Difficulty: Easy
Hands-On Time: 20 mins
Baking Time: 35–40 mins
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Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4. Butter and line the tin with baking paper.

Step 2
Chop the dates into small pieces then add to the hot tea. Put to one side to soak for 15 minutes while you make the sponge.

Step 3
Cream together the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon (or use a hand-held electric mixer) until pale and light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to ensure all of the mix is beaten. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Step 4
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda onto the creamed mix and then fold in with a rubber spatula until all of the flour is mixed in. Fold in the dates, along with any tea that hasn’t soaked in, until you have a creamy cake batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the pudding is a deep golden brown. To check if it is cooked, insert a skewer into the sponge; if it comes out with just a few moist crumbs the pudding is ready.

Step 5
While the pudding is in the oven, make the toffee sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the sugar and cream and cook over a low heat, stirring every now and then, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sauce is smooth, increase the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.

Step 6
Leave the pudding to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out and cutting into squares. Serve warm with the hot toffee sauce.

Photography: David Munns © Hodder & Stoughton