Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding (STP)

I’m almost loath to share this recipe for the worlds most amazing sticky toffee pudding, as anyone wanting to easily kidnap my husband would need only a warm bowl of this pud to lead him Pied Piper style away into a cave, never to be seen again. That being said, we’ll have to risk it, as the gooey stodginess of the pudding, combined with the rich, sweet butteriness of the sauce is to great to keep to myself.

The recipe came to me via a really lovely lady called Gillian, owner of the Windmill Court Hotel in Yorkshire. We stayed there on our way to the Lake District on holiday last year, and this sticky toffee pudding (STP as Tristan likes to call it) was the most delicious thing on a menu fill of delicious things. I am still honoured and humbled to have been given a little note card with the recipe details on, which I can only imagine is how runners exchanging Olympic torches must feel.

The pudding, in a break from my usual Scandinavian influences, is very traditionally British, or at least I thought, until in researching this post, I came across Felicity Cloak’s article in The Guardian ‘How to cook perfect sticky toffee pudding’ which details some of the pud history (wait, it’s actually Canadian???) and where we differ in recipe and methodology, we agree that it is, and should remain, an unapologetically sweet treat. Also, she refers to it as STP as well so high fives to her. Great minds.

A quick thing to mention before we get into the how-to is that to make this STP, you will need to soak your dates overnight, so start the day before you want to eat and you’re away 🙂

Sticky Toffee Pudding (STP)

For the pudding:

  • 170g dates
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coffee
  • 215ml boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g butter
  • 170g brown sugar
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 2 eggs

For the sauce:

  • 130g butter
  • 130ml double cream
  • 130g brown sugar

Roughly chop all of the dates into smallish pieces, put them into a bowl and pour on the boiling water. A good thing to know is that when measuring water, grams weigh the same as millilitres, so you can add the water straight to the bowl, rather than faffing about with jugs, proving you weigh out the correct quantity. Stir in the coffee grounds (I used a little bit of the roast of the week that I picked up from Kofra), vanilla essence and bicarbonate of soda. Cover the bowl and set aside to infuse overnight.

The following day, preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Combine the flour, butter, sugar and eggs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Fold in the date mixture and give it a good stir. Don’t worry if it looks a bit split at this stage, as it will right itself as it bakes.

Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin, lined with greaseproof paper, and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Check the pud half-way through and rotate it, so that it gets the same colour on both sides.

While the sponge is baking, on the hob combine the butter, cream and sugar in a pan and cook over a medium to high heat until you have a sauce that is amber in colour.

On taking the pudding out of the oven (as you would with a lemon drizzle cake) use a skewer or knife to poke holes all over the cake and then generously baste it with the toffee, so that you get little runnels or wells through the cake that are filled up with the sauce.

Serve with more of the toffee sauce and ideally a spoonful of clotted cream, which cuts the sweetness nicely.

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