If you’re anything like me, you’ll be the member of the party who always orders the Sticky Toffee pudding. Lovingly referred to as STP by its cringeworthy cronies, it is a pud so entirely foolproof that I’ve not yet been on the receiving end of a duff one. Though there have been a couple of close shaves.
Search the internet for ‘sticky toffee pudding’ and you’ll see just how foolproof it is. There are so many distinct recipes that it seems you could throw any combination of ingredients together and end up with the correct bowlful.
The recipe below does, however, yield a moist, dense and altogether satisfying – but not too claggy – sticky toffee pudding, just waiting to receive its hot, rich and sweet toffee sauce.
One difference from most recipes you might pick up on is the inclusion of cocoa powder. And it does seem like an odd addition indeed. Ruby Tandoh of GBBO fame appears to be a particular fan. And while my rendition doesn’t use as much cocoa as her’s, its presence enriches the flavour and enthralls the senses.
The same can be said of the ginger and cinnamon which, though not present in great quantity, carry their flavour well, adding an additional layer of complexity to an otherwise simple dessert.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
for the pudding:
- 200g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, heaped
- 300ml boiling water
- 75g butter
- 80g golden caster sugar
- 80g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 175g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
for the sauce:
- 90g light muscovado sugar
- 60g dark muscovado sugar
- 225ml double cream
- 150g butter
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). Generously grease a baking dish of 30x10cm or similar. The size isn’t important, as long as it fits.
- Put the dates in a small mixing bowl and cover with the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside to stand and soften.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, before incorporating the eggs little by little.
- Fold through the flour, baking powder, cocoa and spices before gently beating in the date and water mixture.
- Transfer the batter to the greased dish and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until cooked through. A knife should emerge almost clean when inserted.
- A few minutes before the pudding is ready tip all of the ingredients for the sauce into a small pan.
- Bring to the boil, mix together and simmer for 3-4 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Serve the pudding warm, topped generously with the toffee sauce. Enjoy.
Cost: Make no mistake; this is a decadent dessert. But that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Indeed, my entire recipe for sticky toffee pudding – sauce included – should set you back no more than £3.50.