Sticky toffee pudding is rich, sweet and filling, very satisfying to eat on a cold winter day. There are many variations on the basic theme of a baked date sponge covered in a toffee or fudge sauce. My recipe uses black treacle*, which gives a dark colour to the sponge and sauce, and a slight bitterness to take the edge off the sweetness. You can keep the baked sponge for several days in an airtight tin, and then you only have to cut a slice and make the sauce for an instant pudding.
Sticky toffee pudding
Sponge (cuts into 10-12 slices)
4 oz (approx 100 g) dried dates, chopped
0.5 pint (approx 280 ml) water
2 Tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) black treacle
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 oz (approx 50 g) butter
4 oz (approx 100 g) dark brown soft sugar
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) vanilla essence
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) baking powder
8 oz (approx 250 g) plain flour
Sauce (serves 6)
1 oz (approx 25 g) butter
3 oz (approx 75 g) dark brown soft sugar
0.25 pint (approx 140 ml) single cream
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) black treacle
To make the sponge:
Grease and line a loaf tin.
Put the dates, water and treacle into a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla essence.
Add the flour and baking powder, and mix well.
Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda onto the date and treacle mixture, then stir into the cake mixture and mix well. It should form a thick batter.
Pour the batter into the greased and lined loaf tin and level the top.
Bake in a moderate oven, about 170 - 180 C, for about an hour, until the top is crisp and golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. Cut into slices, and serve with toffee sauce (see below).
To make the toffee sauce:
Put the butter, sugar and cream into a small saucepan. Heat gently until the butter melts, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the treacle.
Pour over slices of the baked sponge (see above). Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if liked.
The baked sponge will keep in an airtight tin for several days, and can be frozen. The sauce will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
*Similar to molasses.