Since I have my first free day at home in a while, I decided to do some baking and as its bonfire night I though I would make it festive. Whether you are heading out to stare at the sky in wonderment (whilst ignoring how freezing cold it is!) or just staying snuggled on the couch listening to the fireworks, this sticky toffee pudding is the perfect bonfire night treat! This gorgeously gooey dessert is hardly guilt free but its November so no need to worry about bikini bodies… no one knows what you look like under all those layers of jumpers anyway right!? I did, however, try and mix a few things up to make it slightly lighter that traditional recipes…
For the pudding
200g pitted whole dates, Medjool work best
75ml oil, plus ½ tsp for oiling tins
175g self-raising flour, plus a little for dusting
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp black treacle
2 medium eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g unrefined demerara sugar
100g natural yogurt (told you it was a bit healthier)
For the toffee sauce
100g light muscovado sugar
25g butter, cut into pieces
1½ tsp black treacle
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g half-fat crème fraîche (again healthIER)
Before anything, of course pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Chop all of the dates into small pieces and leave to soak in 175ml of water for around half an hour and while they are getting all lovely and sticky, make the cake mix. Start by whisking the two eggs together in a cup and then, in a large bowl, mix together the oil and the sugar. Slowly add the eggs to the sugar and oil mix and set this bowl aside. Combine the flour and the bicarb in a separate bowl and add half to the sugar mix, stir in slowly and now add half the yoghurt. Repeat this again until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Now the dates should be all shiny and gooey, add the vanilla extract and the black treacle and use the back of a fork to mash the dates, turning them into a thick paste. Stir this mixture into the thick cake batter and then pour into a tin lined with baking parchment- you can either use a loaf tin, a cake tin or if you want to make little individual puddings, spoon the mixture evenly between 12 cupcake moulds. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
While the pudding is in the oven, start the best part…the toffee sauce. Put the sugar and butter into a pan on a medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar starts to dissolve. Don’t let the pan get to hot or the mixture to boil as the sugar will burn! Once the mix starts to look like fudge (all thick and caramelly) take it off the heat and stir in the treacle and vanilla. Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes and stir in the creme fraiche.
Cut the pudding into pieces (or you can use cookie cutter to make shapes like I attempted to do) and drizzle over the deliciously silky sauce. I made some boozy mascarpone to dollop on the side by adding some cinnamon and baileys and it was perfect!