This yumdiddleyscrumptious recipe I got from my sister & is one of her ‘notoriously good’ desserts. It really is yummy and probably a favourite with many – it most certainly is with my husband which is why I will always have the necessary ingredients on hand in future! This is something he seems to order constantly as ‘pudding’ when we dine out. This is a classic British treat (Some say it has English origins others, Scottish) consisting of a very moist sponge made with finely chopped dates (sometimes prunes) and covered in a toffee sauce.
The cake itself can be kept in the freezer for later use, so it can be useful to make up several at once. Both the pudding and sauce actually taste better the day after baking I think, as it gives all those richer ingredients a chance to mingle and blend together. They can be re-heated then (separately!) and served with ice-cream or cream (I personally love good auld Vanilla Haagen Daaz) or custard.
Makes 2 loaf tins
For the pudding
8 oz /16 tbsp butter chopped up – plus a tiny bit extra for greasing
8 oz / 1 cup of golden caster sugar
12 oz / 1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
4 oz / 1/2 cup milk
4 oz / 1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence
12 oz / 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped & pitted dates
For the Toffee Sauce
16 oz / 2 cups of light muscovado sugar / tightly packed brown sugar
10 oz / 1 1/4 cups of double cream
2 oz / 4 tbsp butter
4 oz / 1/2 cup of finely chopped pecan nuts
Golden Syrup (if you have some in your cupboard, but not a necessity for the recipe)
Utensils: A loaf tin, a spatula, saucepan & a food blender if you have one, if not elbow grease works just as well 🙂
*Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4 & grease your tin well with the ‘extra’ butter*
Start by blending together the butter and sugar until combined into a pale and creamy mixture.
Add the eggs one at a time. Using your spatula scrape down the sides making sure the eggs are combined well, and not stuck to the sides.
Combine the flour & baking powder and add to your mixture while slowly adding the milk and water as you combine all of the ingredients into a smooth batter.
Lastly fold in the dates and pour half of the mixture into the greased tin.
Bake for approx 45 mins (times may vary depending on your oven 30 minutes may be sufficient) or until a fork inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Repeat with the remaining batter mixture for the second loaf.
Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin for 5 mins before removing from the tin and continue cooling for another 10 minutes.
In the saucepan, bring the cream, butter and sugar to the boil stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer, add the pecan nuts and continue stirring over a low heat for approx 5 minutes. (For an even more toffee flavour add 1 tbsp of golden syrup)