Geez, I haven’t made this one for a few years! I know I have a blog loaded with sweet things so it’s rather obvious to all that I have a sweet tooth but we actually do not eat dessert every night, or even on a weekly basis like you might think (and my waist size would indicate!) we do. When I do bake or make a dessert, (usually just for you guys I might add), we will have a piece, slice or portion each and the rest I deliver….on my ‘baking run’ to family, friends and neighbours. But this pudding…..WOW…..it’s just ‘to die’ for! The smell of it baking is amazing, we have a large section and whilst this pudding was baking, the aroma filled up the entire backyard!
I’m pretty sure I could eat this every night! It’s the sauce….OMG THE SAUCE, drizzled (aka, heavily poured) over this sweet, fruity pudding, is just too much! You just wouldn’t want to have sticky date pudding without butterscotch sauce…..I mean you could of course but I’m sure Forest Gump would agree with me when I say they go together just like ‘peas and carrots’!
To me, Sticky Date Toffee Pudding is pure ‘comfort’ food. Everything from the dried fruit, the nuts, the gorgeous amber of the butterscotch sauce, and the golden colour of the pudding (thanks to the addition of the demerara sugar)…..it’s all just so ‘warming’ and it’s sure to be a huge hit at any midwinters dinner party.
This recipe was passed on to me from a chef I once worked with so I am not sure of its originality although most sticky date pudding recipes are very similar. What I love about this one, in particular, is that it’s made with demerara sugar which has a natural caramel-like flavour which compliments its wintery nature. What also makes it more delicious is that it’s loaded not just with dates but also sultanas, currants and walnuts, making it very special and sure to impress even the pickiest, die hard, sticky date pudding fans!
P.S. You can make both the pudding and the butterscotch sauce days ahead and …..always a bonus!
125 g / 4 oz + 1 teaspoon butter (both at room temperature)
¾ cup demerara sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (I used size 7)
2 cups standard flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups pitted dates
½ cup sultanas
1/3 cup currants
¾ cup walnuts
1 tablespoon baking soda
optional – 1 tablespoon of orange zest (from 1 medium-sized orange)
50 g / 1 ¾ oz butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup + 2/3 cup full cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Serves 8 – 10 people
- Now, of course, you can switch out any of the fruits and even the walnuts, it will be fine, however, I’d be reluctant to leave out the dates…..we’d have to change the name to Sticky Dateless Toffee Pudding then wouldn’t we! However if you really don’t like dates just replace the measure with more of the other fruits and walnuts, the pudding won’t quite be as sticky and sweet but will still be yummy. 🙂
- If you like you can replace the demerara sugar for raw sugar. Missing the lovely toffee flavour of demerara but will still give this pudding a nice golden colour.
STEP BY STEP
For this pudding, I used an ovenproof dish that is 30 cm / 12 in L x 20 cm / 8 in W x 6 cm / 2 ½ in H and has a 12 cup capacity.
- If your dish is larger than mine your pudding will come out flatter and will take a little less time to cook or if it’s smaller it will probably take a little longer.
So, first grease the dish with the teaspoon of softened butter.
- If you know me you know I nearly always use non-stick cooking spray but occasionally I think some things can benefit from that extra buttery flavour around its crust.
Now place a rack just below the centre of the oven and turn it to 150°C/300°F fan bake/convection oven or 175°C/350 °F conventional oven, on bake.
Into a large saucepan place the dates, sultanas, currants, walnuts, the orange zest (if using it) and 1 1/4 cups of water.
Over a medium-high heat, bring it all to a boil.
Once boiling remove it from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Set it aside for now.
Into a large bowl place the softened butter, the demerara sugar and the teaspoon of vanilla extract/
Using an electric beater on a medium/high speed beat it all together until it’s well combined.
- The raw sugar and butter won’t cream like it would with fine white sugar or the softer brown sugar but don’t worry it’ll turn out fine.
Then add the egg and beat that in until well combined.
Next, place the flour over to one side of the bowl and then sit the baking powder on top of the flour.
Now pour the fruit and nut mix on the other side, next to the flour and use a large spoon to fold it all together, stopping as soon as you can’t see any more flour.
Working quickly, spread the batter into the prepared dish and…..
…..place it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- If you are making this for tomorrow or the next day let it cool down completely and wrap the whole thing in aluminium foil, before storing in the fridge until needed.
In a medium-sized saucepan place the 50 g / 1 ¾ oz of butter with the brown sugar and ½ cup of the cream (you can measure the rest of the cream if you like and leave it aside, you’ll need it shortly).
Over a low heat, melt it all together, stirring often.
Once it’s all melted turn the heat up to medium or medium/high and bring it to a boil. Then you want it to softly boil (simmer) for 3 minutes.
- Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not hard out boiling because it will affect its consistency and it may end up too thick and not the nice pouring consistency it needs to be.
Once done take it off the heat and stir in the reserved 2/3 cup of cream and then add the vanilla extract.
That’s it and I bet you enjoy a sneaky spoonful (or two)…..I’d be seriously worried about you if you didn’t!
If you like you can give it a wee dusting of icing sugar (powdered/confectioners sugar) and serve with loads of sauce…(obviously!) ice cream and a big dollop of floppy whipped cream.
Keeping it fresh – The butterscotch sauce will last up to 2 weeks, well covered or in a jar, in the fridge. To reheat it, just return to a small saucepan and reheat it over a low heat or pop it into the microwave in 20-second increments (depending on how much is left) until it’s hot.
The pudding keeps well wrapped in the fridge for up to 5 days. This is one dessert that heats up perfectly using the microwave. I had 8 servings from this recipe and reheated each piece for 40 seconds in the microwave (actually 20 seconds and then I poured over some cold sauce and then another 20). Alternatively, if you made the pudding ahead you can reheat the whole thing (still wrapped in aluminium foil) at the same temperature it was baked at, checking it after 15 minutes.