Sharrow Bay Icky Sticky Toffee Sponge Pudding

Often imitated, never bettered.


  • 50 g 2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 175 g (6 oz) chopped stoned dates
  • 275 mls (9 oz) water
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 600 mls (1 pint) (double) cream
  • 75 g (3 oz) Demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle


Cream the butter and sugar. Boil the dates in the water until soft and add the bicarbonate of soda. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, then fold in the flour, dates and liquid and the vanilla essence. Pour into a deep greased cake tin or soufflé dish, or individual pudding basins, cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, less time for smaller individual puddings. While the pudding is baking, boil together the cream, sugar and treacle until you have a nice golden caramel sauce. When cooked, turn the pudding out and pour the sauce over the top.