Sticky Toffee Pudding

A relatively recent newcomer to the ranks of great British puddings, this modern Lakeland classic first appeared at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in Ullswater during the 1970’s and it’s still a favourite there today. It’s also connected with Cartmel: their own delicious sticky toffee puddings are available to buy from the village shop and nationwide.

Alternatively, you can make this baked version at home in your own kitchen. Full of good things, it’s hard to resist.

Makes 4-8 puddings

  • 100g (4oz) dates
  • 50ml (2 floz) boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g (1oz) butter, softened
  • 100g (4oz) soft Muscavado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle
  • 100g (4oz) flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • I teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 160C (fan oven) or equivalent

You will need a food processor for best results

Bake in 4 greased and floured dariole moulds set on a baking tray. Alternatively, for slightly smaller puddings, grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin tin.

Soften and tenderise the dates first THIS IS VITAL: lay them in a flat dish, add the bicarbonate of soda to the boiling water and pour over. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Whiz the sugar in the processor to eliminate any hard lumps. Add the butter and whiz until fluffy. Add the dates and soaking water, and whiz smooth. Add the treacle and whiz again. Combine the flour and baking powder and sieve over the top. Finally add the egg and vanilla and whiz until everything is smooth and glossy.

Once the oven comes to temperature, set a dish of hot water on the bottom shelf.

Pour the mixture into the moulds.

Bake for 18-30 minutes depending on mould size or until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Avoid over-baking.

Sticky Toffee sauce

75g (3oz) salted butter 100g 2oz) Muscavado sugar 75ml (3 floz) double cream

Combine the butter, sugar and cream in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thick and smooth.

Turn out the puddings. Brush the tops and sides liberally with the sauce (or simple pour it over). Serve with the remaining sauce and a jug of cream.