What’s baking today: Sweet and sticky toffee pudding
Celebrity chefs dominated the scene in the early 2000s, with Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver influencing a new generation of home cooks to make everything from a simple Bolognese to snail porridge.
Whether or not you’re a fan of any of these chefs, their recipe books admittedly come in handy on days when ideas run dry.
I’ve searched for a great recipe for sticky toffee pudding and found Jamie Oliver’s to tick all the boxes – but substituted his recommendation of demerara (light brown) sugar for treacle. Without it, there’s no way the recipe will yield the rich dark brown pud he claims to have prepared in “Jamie’s Dinners”.
Also – I wasn’t going to splurge on Ovaltine, which nobody at home would drink so substituted Milo, to add some malty flavour.
Try this, if you’re in the mood for a simple crowd-pleaser that’s sticky and deliciously sweet.
Serve with custard and extra whipped cream.
Sticky toffee pudding
225 g dates, stoned
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
85 g unsalted butter, softened
150g treacle sugar
2 large eggs
170 g self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon ground mixed spice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Milo/Ovaltine
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
For the toffee sauce
115 g unsalted butter
115 g dark treacle sugar
140 ml double cream
Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Crumble the dates into a bowl, add the bicarb and cover with 200ml of boiling water. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes to soften, then drain.
Whiz the dates in a food processor until you have a purée. Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar until well incorporated and smooth, and add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Milo/Ovaltine. Mix together well, then fold in the yoghurt and your puréed dates.
Pour into a buttered, ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.
While the pudding is baking, make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. To serve, spoon out the pudding at the table and pour over the toffee sauce. DM