There are not that many English desserts that I think are that great, but sticky toffee pudding makes up for all the rest. The only problem is that I feel too guilty to make an entire one for just me and A, so it usually only comes out when we have guests over. It was scarfed down quickly on the last few evenings I presented it at, so I think this recipe is a keeper.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
From BBC Food
For the pudding
150g/5oz dates, stones removed, chopped
250ml/9fl oz hot water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g/2¼ oz butter, softened
60g/2¼ oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
150g/5oz plain flour
For the toffee sauce (I usually only make half of this recipe - it seems to be plenty to drench each slice)
400g/14oz brown sugar
vanilla pod, split (I subbed a good splash of high-quality vanilla extract)
250ml/9fl oz double cream
Preheat the oven to 180C/370F/Gas 4.
Mix the dates, bicarbonate of soda and the water together in a bowl and leave to soak for ten minutes. (I pureed this mixture after the dates were soft when I made this the second time because there were chunks of dates in my first attempt, which weren't bad, but apparently aren't very traditional.)
In a clean bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Still stirring the butter mixture, gradually add the eggs, making sure they are well mixed in.
Still stirring, gradually add the flour, then add the date mixture.
Pour the mixture into a 20cm/8in square cake tin. Place into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan over a medium heat.
Add the brown sugar, vanilla pod and cream and stir well. Simmer for five minutes.
To serve, spoon out a portion of the pudding onto a plate and pour over the hot toffee sauce.