Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is a British classic. It was always had a place on dessert menus when I was working in restaurant kitchens, whether it was  the middle of a cold winter or a record breaking summer. 

I've come across a few variations on recipes that, inevitably, revolve around the key ingredient... dates. Some use black treacle, some, like mine, soak the dates in black tea, some use a selection of spices, and others keep it to the basics. 

Which ever way the recipe goes, you'll rarely find a sticky toffee pudding without butterscotch sauce.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

Use brown sugar when making any sticky toffee pudding. Do not substitute it for white sugar. You can use any brown sugar really, the darker the sugar the darker and richer flavour. As for the tea, I used Darjeeling, but you can use which ever you want - just bare in mind the flavours if you're using a speciality tea.

I've also got a slightly dodgy oven at the moment, so take temperatures and times with a pinch of salt. You can check if its cooked by putting a skewer in the middle - if it comes out clean then its cooked.

Serves 6

For the pudding

2tsp leaves or 1 teabag of black tea
130g dates, de-stoned
50g salted butter, cubed plus extra for greasing
180g soft brown sugar
1 egg
1tbsp golden syrup
200g plain flour, sifted plus extra for dusting
2tsp baking powder

For the sauce

3tbsp soft brown sugar
50g salted butter, cubed
100ml double cream

Preheat oven 200°C / 390°F

For the pudding, brew the tea in about 2 cups worth of boiling water and pour over the dates in a bowl. Leave for until required.

In a food processor, process the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg, golden syrup, flour and baking powder. Process until it is all incorporated together. Next, add the dates along with a tablespoon of the liquid. 

Grease a 12.5cm x 21.5cm loaf tin with butter and dust with flour. Pile in the cake mixture and give it a few good knocks on the kitchen top to rid it of any air pockets. 

Place in the oven and bake for (very approximately) 30-40 minutes. 

For the sauce, melt the sugar and butter in a small pan then add the cream. Give it a good stir so that it binds together. If it begins to split, a good whisk should bring it back.

Portion and serve.

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