Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sticky toffee pudding

This is a lovely pudding. Really tasty and again is usually a hit with both adults and children. I served this after the lasagne at the weekend when our neighbours came round and there was a lot of plate scraping!

Again it can be prepared in advance and just cooked when you want it. I normally put it in as I take the lunch out of the oven and that times well. If you do prepare it in advance and keep it in the fridge, take them out an hour before you want to cook them to bring them up to room temperature.

Begin by putting 200g dates (preferably medjool) that have been pitted and chopped into a saucepan with 175g dark muscodavo sugar and 250ml water.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes in which time the sugar will dissolve and the dates will soften.

Then allow to cool slightly before blitzing them in a food processor until smooth.

At this point add 100g softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cooled strong coffee, 2 tbls plain yoghurt and three large eggs and blend til smooth. If the date mix is still warm it helps the butter to blend in completely. But it must not be too warm or it will cook the eggs.

At this point measure out 150g plain flour, 50g cocoa powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp mixed spice and 1/4 tsp cinammon.

Add this to the date mix and give everything a good mix.

At this point the entire mix can be put into the fridge if leaving overnight or can be divided into the pudding basin(s). Once you are ready to put them into the basins, either grease and line 8 small pudding basins or one large dish (around 1 litre).

I like doing the individual ones since then you know everyone gets the same size portion! Also they cook a lot quicker which can help with timings if you are cooking them while you eat your main (especially if you have hungry children waiting for their pudding!) Divide the mix between the dishes.

Then place them all on a baking tray ready to cook.

Bake for around 20-25 minutes (around 55-60 minutes if doing one large one) at 180 degrees C until a squewer comes out clean.

Just before they are cooked make the toffee sauce- put 100g dark muscodavo sugar, 75g butter and 250ml double cream  in a saucepan.

Gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved and everything is combined. Once the puddings are cooked gently run a knife around the dish and turn onto serving plates. Using a metal squewer pierce the puddings all over and then pour over some of the sauce and serve with ice-cream (or clotted cream).

Put a jug of the sauce on the table for guests to pour over as they require. Very rich and satisfying!

Til soon.....

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