sticky toffee puddings

Back in the summer of 2009, I flew out to Australia on my own to stay with my Grandma for a few weeks. Quite the adventure for my little 14-year-old self! Some of my fondest memories are of baking in that kitchen, and that summer was no exception. Whilst I was in town, the show society was having its street stall, so I was more than happily roped in to help Grandma with the baking. In the space of two days, I made 8 date loaves from this recipe.

It wasn’t til I came home and made it for my Dad that I realised that what I’d actually been making {in another form} was sticky toffee pudding. Most people don’t know that dates are what make a sticky toffee pudding what it is… aside from the ‘toffee’. And the ‘sticky’. Eww, I can’t believe I just typed that!

Moving swiftly on, this is a really nice recipe for lazy Sunday afternoon baking. It doesn’t require too much attention, but the result is awesome and a real crowd-pleaser. If you don’t fancy going down the individual pudding route, you can bake this recipe as my Grandma intended in a loaf tin. It’s just as good and may last you a little while longer…

Ingredients: {makes 12}

Date puddings: 

  • 1 cup chopped dates {stones removed, and chopped finely}
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar {packed down}
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp bicarb. soda

Toffee sauce:

  • 175g brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 225ml double cream

Method:

Preheat your oven to 170*C and grease a 12-hole muffin pan with butter {or alternatively, line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper}. 
Put the brown sugar, butter, dates, salt and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil on a low-medium heat. Once bubbling, take off the heat and leave to cool. If the dates are still quite big, you can ‘mash’ them with a fork.
Transfer the date mixture to a big mixing bowl and stir in the beaten egg. Sift in the flour and bicarb. soda, and fold through.  
Spoon the mixture into the holes of the muffin pan equally and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top and smelling lovely. Check with a skewer. 
If you want to serve the puddings straight from the oven, make the toffee sauce as they’re baking. Combine the brown sugar, butter and half of the cream in a saucepan and heat on low. 
Remove from the heat when it starts to bubble, and pour in the remaining cream. If you’re not serving the puddings immediately, you can leave them and the sauce to cool down and then just microwave them when you’re ready. 
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