THIS IS NOT MY OWN RECIPE!!
The legend of the Tesco sticky toffee pudding : I happened to stop at a giant Tesco on my way back from work one evening when I was quite hungry. Mistake number one. After shopping for ingredients for dinner (I mean after being side-tracked to buy dinner ingredients), I ventured into the naughty aisles at Tesco. Namely chips (or crisps if you are English), lollies, icecream and eventually the cold dessert section at Tesco. While this isn’t the most attractive section, my eyes were quick to spot the 2 for 1 pudding deals where the one was actually a pack of two puddings. So despite all the angels of health warning me against it, I came back home with 2 packs – one, apple crumble and the other, sticky toffee pudding. My partner surveyed them very suspiciously as he does with most of my “I’m trying something new from Tesco” buys but settled on the sticky toffee for pudding that night.
Gosh, I’ve been in England too long as I find myself replacing the word “dessert” with ‘pudding’ and ‘chips’ with ‘crisps’ ! Anyhow, the story ends with the Tesco pudding being an instant success and several more naughty trips to the mini-Tesco next door to try and find the same. Tesco in the UK seems like McDonald’s in the US. You are never more than 200m from one ?
A few days later, I went into grandma mode and said – If Tesco can do it, so can I and i can do it better. As usual, google had all the recipe answers. What I worked out was that a sticky toffee pud (get with the program!) was very much like my Sticky Date Cake except there was molten caramel underneath it waiting to flow when you turned it over. Looking for recipes for decadent puds such as a sticky toffee pudding, with hundreds of recipes online, only one caught my attention right away. It was by the queen of indulgent puds – Nigella. Once it was ready, I could , in all honesty, put my finger in my mouth and mime Mmmm Mmmmm!
Ingredients (serves 6):
100 grams dark muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar)
175 grams self-raising flour
125 grams whole milk
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
50 grams unsalted butter melted and cooled
200 grams pitted dates, chopped
For the sauce
200 grams or 1 cup of dark muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar)
25 grams unsalted butter in little blobs
500 ml water boiling
Method in pictures (Steps correspond to picture numbers):
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
1. Place the flour, sugar and dates in a large bowl.
2. Toss the dates in the flour so that they are well coated in it. As I’ve said previously, this will mean that the dates are evenly spread through the batter and won’t settle down the bottom.
3. Into the bowl with melted butter, add milk, vanilla essence and the lightly beaten egg and mix well.
4. Pour the liquid mixture from step 3 into the dry mixture in step 2 above.
5. Mix the liquid and dry components until they form a sticky batter.
6. Grease a pie dish or a disposable baking tray with butter.
7. Spoon the batter from step 5 into your baking dish and even the surface with the palm of your hand
8. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the surface of the batter and then dot the sugar with the blobs of butter. You can be more generous with the butter than 25gms if you want it more indulgent.
9. Pour the boiling water over the sugar and butter and watch the butter float to the top and melt. I did this with the baking dish on a baking tray so that any spillage would be caught.
10. Bake for 45 mins or until the top looks light and porous, almost like the inside of freshly baked bread.
11. As a test, touch your finger to the top of the pudding and it should spring back immediately.
12. Scoop generous portions of the pudding into a bowl and serve while hot with vanilla icecream (main picture).
13. Go for a long run or swim the next day (optional!).