Were you inspired by the Great British Bake Off's pudding week episode?  If so then why not try this delicious recipe for sticky toffee pudding.  As the days get shorter and the evenings lengthen what could be more comforting than tucking in to a bowl of steaming hot pud.  We will be trying this in our steam oven for a traditional finish however the recipe below is baked in the oven and finished with a pour over sauce.  It can of course be cooked with a combination of steam and heat for a lighter pudding.  We would love to see how you get on, so why not post a picture of your home made sticky toffee pudding on Contour's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our news page.

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Ingredients

For the pudding

  • 225g whole medjool dates
  • 175ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g self-raising flour, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 85g butter softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 100ml milk
  • cream or custard to serve 

For the toffee sauce

  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g butter, cut into pieces
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
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Method

  1. Stone and chop the dates quite small, put them in a bowl and pour the boiling water over. Leave for approximately 30 mins until cool and well-soaked, then mash with a fork to break them up slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract. Butter and flour seven mini pudding tins (each about 200ml/7fl oz) and sit them on a baking sheet. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

  2. While the dates are soaking, make the puddings. Mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda together and beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for a few mins until slightly creamy (the mixture will be grainy from the sugar). Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the black treacle then, using a large metal spoon, gently fold in one-third of the flour, then half the milk, being careful not to overbeat. Repeat until all the flour and milk is used. Stir the soaked dates into the pudding batter. The mix may look a little curdled at this point and will be like a soft, thick batter. Spoon it evenly between the tins and bake for 20-25 mins, until risen and firm.

  3. Meanwhile, put the sugar and butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan with half the cream. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the black treacle, turn up the heat slightly and let the mixture bubble away for 2-3 mins until it is a rich toffee colour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. Take the pan off the heat and beat in the rest of the cream.

  4. Remove the puddings from the oven. Leave in the tins for a few mins, then loosen them well from the sides of the tins with a small palette knife before turning them out. You can serve them now with the sauce drizzled over, but they’ll be even stickier if left for a day or two coated in the sauce. To do this, pour about half the sauce into one or two ovenproof serving dishes. Sit the upturned puddings on the sauce, then pour the rest of the sauce over them. Cover with a loose tent of foil so that the sauce doesn’t smudge (no need to chill).

  5. When ready to serve, heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Warm the puddings through, still covered, for 15-20 mins or until the sauce is bubbling. Serve them on their own, or with cream or custard.