Sticky toffee pudding made easy - no steaming, no caramel to make, just tasty springy sponge and a treacle toffee sauce.
vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Butter eight small pudding basins (dariole moulds) and sprinkle demerara sugar inside, coating evenly. Shake any excess sugar out of the moulds, and place them on a baking tray.
Place the dates with 250ml/9fl oz water into a saucepan and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Stir the vanilla extract into the date mixture.
Blend with a stick blender until the date mixture is thick and soupy.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and muscovado sugar together until smooth.
Stir in the syrup and treacle, then the flour, mixing well.
Break the eggs one at a time into the bowl, stirring well after each one.
Add the bicarbonate of soda to the date mixture, then pour into the flour mixture and beat well to blend.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pudding basins, filling them two-thirds full.
Put the puddings into the oven immediately, and bake for 20 minutes until well-risen and springy to the touch.
For the sauce, gently heat the cream in a saucepan. Add the sugar and butter and whisk until melted. Whisk in the syrup and treacle.
To serve, turn the pudding out onto a plate, spoon the sauce over the top and around, then finish with a dollop of ice cream.
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James Martin is joined by chefs Alyn Williams and Tom Kitchin, and actor Danny Mays.
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