This is it - the famous sticky toffee pudding. The original harks back to British boarding schools early this century, and is therefore not my creation. I am merely a disciple, devoted to passing on The Sticky Toffee Word.
Heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Mix dates and bicarbonate of soda in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water on top and leave to stand.
Cream butter and sugar until pale, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the sifted flour, stir in the date mixture, and then pour into a lightly buttered
Combine sugar, cream, vanilla extract and butter in a saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve, then quickly reheat when needed.
Cut pudding into squares and place each square in the centre of a warm dinner plate. Pour hot toffee sauce over each square, and serve with fresh cream, ice cream or custard.
P.S. Traditionally, the toffee sauce is poured over the cake and returned to the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking to get really sticky. I prefer this slightly less gross method, where sticky sauce meets steamy pudding on the plate.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.