Rich indulgent sticky toffee pudding is one of those desserts that's hard to resist. To me these are the ultimate sticky toffee puddings made with dates and pecans.
Sticky toffee puddings are a modern classic and are as popular now as they were when they first rose in the popularity stakes in the late 1960s early 70s..
Like the original, my signature sticky toffee puddings are made up in two separate parts–the cake and the sauce. You will find some sticky toffee puddings without dates. To me these are a poor relation because a good sticky toffee pudding should be just that, a little sticky. Without the dates the stickiness is lost and you basically just have a sponge pudding with a toffee sauce. Delicious but just not a true sticky toffee pudding.
My puddings are moist, not overly sweet or too stodgy and contain date and chopped pecans and have a little hint of ginger.
These ultimate sticky toffee puddings are made in individual moulds so no more fighting over who got the bigger portion!
Give them a go and let me know what you think!
To make this sticky toffee puddings
- Dates – I use the ready to eat stoned dates
- Bicarbonate of soda – to soften the skins of the dates
- Pecans – to add texture
- Butter – I use salted so no need to add additional salt to the puddings
- Dark muscovado sugar – this dark brown sugar adds a good rich “toffee” flavour to the puddings
- Eggs – Medium
- Self-raising flour
- Ground ginger
To make the the sauce:
- Light muscovado sugar - a lighter more subtle flavour than dark muscovado
- Dark muscovado sugar
- Butter – again salted is ideal
- Rum or brandy –You can leave it out if you must (add orange juice instead) but it gives the sauce a bit of an adult kick and makes this sauce extra special
- Double cream – (optional) for a milder sauce
Cooking the perfect pudding
A good pudding should be moist and not stodgy. I use small metal pudding moulds to make mine but you could also use tea cups (but may be best not to use your best china), large ramekins or even silicone pudding moulds.
The puddings tins are placed in a bain marie (water bath) as this produces a more gentle heat and helps to keep the puddings moist, preventing a hard crust forming around the outside of the puddings.
The puddings are cooked when they are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
The toffee sauce
I serve mine with a simple toffee sauce made by cooking a mixture or dark and light muscovado sugar and butter together. A slug of brandy or rum will give the sauce a richer flavour which really compliments the puddings well.
If liked you can add a little cream to the sauce for a slightly milder flavour. The sauce should be cooked genbtly until the butter and sugar are just combined; it will be quite runny to begin with but will thicken slightly as it cools. Serve warm.
Serving the puddings
You can serve this rich and indulgent dessert with just the toffee sauce or with a generous drizzle of double cream. Better still, a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream or this stem ginger ice cream will make it even more of a treat.
Sticky toffee puddings step by step
To Make the puddings
1 Soak the dates with the bicarbonate of soda.
2 Cream the butter and sugar together.
3 Beat the eggs one at a time.
4 Then fold in the flour and ginger.
5 Add the dates and the soaking liquid and pecans, Stir in.
6 Divide between the pudding moulds. Place in a roasting tin and pour boiling water to come half way up the tins.
7 Bake until risen and spring to the touch.
8 Allow to cool in the moulds for 10 minutes before turning out.
To make the sauce
1 Melt the butter with the sugar and brandy or rum until combined.
2 Once the sugar has dissolved bring to the boil then remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
Can you prepare this dessert ahead of time
Both the sauce and the puddings can be made in advance; in fact, the flavour improves if given a chance to mature. They can be reheated in a low oven in the tins or very quickly in the microwave (turned out of their tins) for about 20-30 seconds per pudding. Reheat the sauce gently over a low heat.
How long will the puddings keep?
The puddings will for 2 to 3 days. Turn out while still warm and allow to cool on a wire rack. Wash and thoroughly dry the moulds and return the puddings to the moulds. Cover the tops with foil or cling film. Alternatively, store in an airtight container.
They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature then reheat as above.
The sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Individual or one large pudding
Traditionally the cake component of a sticky toffee pudding is cooked in a large tin and cut into portions to serve. I like to make mine in individual pudding moulds as I think they not only look better but tend to be more moist and pudding like without being stodgy. If you prefer to go the traditional route and cook one large pudding this mixture can also be baked in an 18cm (7in) square cake tin and will take about 35 minutes to cook.
If you choose to cook yours in a cake tin then make sure it is a solid cake tin. If you only have loose bottom tin place a pan of water below the cake while cooking to help keep it more moist.
Sticky Toffee Puddings
- 6 metal or silicone pudding moulds,
- ovenproof baking dish or roasting tin
for the puddings
- 175 g (6oz) stoned dates
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 50 g (2oz) pecans
- 125 g (4oz) butter, softened
- 125 g (4oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 125 g (4oz) self-raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
for the sauce:
- 50 g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
- 25 g (1oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 50 g (2oz) butter
- 2 tablespoon rum or brandy
- 100 ml (3½ floz) double cream (optional)
To make the puddings
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Lightly grease and line the base of 6 pudding moulds.
- Chop 175g (6oz) dates and place in a heatproof bowl and add ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Cover with 150ml (¼pt) boiling water, then set aside. Chop 50g (2oz) pecans and set aside.
- Beat together 125g (4oz) butter and 125g (4oz) sugar until lightly fluffy, then add 2 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add 125g (4oz) flour and ¼ teaspoon ground ginger to the mixing bowl and gently fold in with a large metal spoon or spatula.
- Add the dates plus the soaking liquid to the bowl and stir in along with the chopped pecans. Fold in until the dates and pecans are evenly combined. At this stage the mixture will be quite wet and like a very thick lumpy batter.
- Divide the mixture equally between the 6 pudding moulds filling them about ¾ full.
- Stand the pudding moulds in a shallow ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Fill the dish or tin with boiling water to come half way up the pudding moulds. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the puddings are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
To make the sauce
- Meanwhile, to make the toffee sauce, place 50g (2oz) light and 25g (1oz) muscovado sugar, 50g (2oz) butter, 2 tablespoon rum or brandy in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until combined.
- Once the sugar as dissolved bring to the boil then remove from the heat and stir in 100ml (3½flo oz) double cream if using.
- When the puddings are cooked, carefully remove the pudding moulds from the roasting tin and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Loosen the puddings from the moulds and turn out onto warm serving plates. Spoon the sauce over the puddings and serve.