Serves 7 to 8
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 175g (6oz) dates, stoned and chopped (medjool dates if possible)
- 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
- 175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted
- 115g (4oz) dark Muscovado sugar
- 4 tbsp runny honey or golden syrup
- Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Oil a 25cm x 18cm/10in X 7in non-stick baking tin that is at least 2.5cm/1in deep. Line with parchment paper.
- Place the dates in a pan with 300ml/1/2 pint of water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda until the mixture stops foaming.
- Place 50g (2oz) of the butter and the caster sugar in a large bowl and cream together until well combined, then beat in the vanilla essence. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon and finally fold in the date mixture. Pour into the greased baking tin and cook for about 35-40 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
- To make the toffee sauce, simply place the remaining 115g (4oz) of butter, the dark muscovado sugar and honey or golden syrup in a pan and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until combined, then remove from the heat.
- When the pudding is cooked, remove from the oven and after 5 minutes turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve, cut the pudding into portions and arrange on plates. Pour over some of the toffee sauce. Serve the remainder of the sauce separately.