After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. -Oscar Wilde
Commonly known as STP, this dense pudding is packed with succulent warmth to bring good cheer and a merry heart!
The first time I tried this delicious recipe was when a British family friend brought me a colossal potion just after I'd delivered my second baby. It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered! Will always remember her with a sweet fondness.
Of course, I had to ask her for the recipe which she wrote on a piece of paper. I remember rewriting the formula at some point, for the piece of paper had been referred to several times until I could do prepare it from the top of my head. Because I was so confident of my ability to make sticky toffee pudding, I only jotted down the ingredients and never bothered to write the method. Placed the rewritten piece of paper in an old recipe book and completely forgot about it, for life has a way of making us lose what we don't practice often.
Whist browsing through the old recipe book from the archives, I came across the neatly folded piece of paper containing ingredients. I just had to source components such as dates and black treacle. It had been a while since I'd used them for baking. I'm confident that the method, recreated from memory with a pinch of research, will work for you as much as it produced good results this time around. It had been a while since I made sticky pudding. Those with eagle eyes might probably frown at the date on top of the cream. Well, these are unprecedented times, and 'Best Before Dates' for specific items mean nothing. Double cream has been like gold dust during quarantine 2020. If it passes the smell test, it's good to go! I'd encourage you not to use ingredients which have expired.
I've bought a few good supermarket sticky puddings which you can place in the oven for 25 minutes or so. Yet to come across to something as authentic as the recipe I'm sharing with you. When I asked my daughter to taste the butterscotch sauce, she said it tasted like Werther's originals. Took it as a compliment.
This recipe calls for different forms of brown sugar and will be thoroughly enjoyed by those with a sweet tooth. However, you can't eat this type of pudding regularly and not pay the price! Still, this sticky toffee pudding, especially on a cold day, is bound to deliver so much comfort and satisfaction to the soul.
Sponge 55g / 2 oz butter 170g / 6 oz Demerara sugar 1 tbsp golden syrup Two free-range eggs 2 tbsp black treacle 200g / 7 oz self-raising flour 200g / 7 oz pitted dates 290ml / 10 fl oz boiling water 1 tsp bicarbonate soda 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sauce 110 ml / 4fl oz double cream 55g / 2 oz butter, diced 55g / 2 oz dark muscovado sugar 2 tbsp black treacle 1 tbsp golden syrup Vanilla ice-cream or double cream to serve
Equipment 23x23cm/9x9in square baking dish
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.
Mix the dates, boiling water and bicarbonate of soda together and blend, leaving a rough consistency. Leave for 10 minutes.
Cream the butter and black treacle together and slowly add the Demerara sugar and mix again. Gradually beat in the eggs.
Fold in the flour and the soaked dates until you have a smooth, thick batter.
Transfer sponge mixture into your prepared dish or cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the butterscotch sauce, melt the butter, muscovado sugar and treacle over very low heat in a saucepan. Stir gently until smooth. As soon as the butter mixture has melted, add the double cream; continue stirring. When the sauce is bubbling and hot, remove from the heat.
When the cake is ready, prick the sponge and pour about a half of the warm sauce over. Make sure the edges are covered in the sauce too. Cover the rest of the remaining sauce in a container and keep it warm. You can pour it over the rest of the sponge cake when serving.
Allow the pudding to stand for about 30 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or double cream if you prefer.
There are many ways to prepare this hearty, traditional warm pudding. Some don't use dates, and some use slightly different measurements and ingredients. Experienced bakers will be able to adjust ingredients according to taste, but in my experience, this recipe is generally foolproof.
You shouldn't have any leftovers (it's that tasty), but if you need to reserve the rest of the pudding, it's best to keep in the fridge for not more than three days. Make sure it's piping hot before serving.
Are you a sticky toffee pudding expert? Did you try this for the first time? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.