Sticky Toffee Pudding with Dates and Candied GingerEight servings
Eight servings
Adapted from Sweet! (Da Capo) by Mani NiallBecause I like the play of sweet and spicy, I added a handful of chopped candied ginger to the recipe. You can use Golden Syrup, which is one of the best sweeteners ever. I also made a batch with treacle from England, which is similar to molasses, and it was excellent, too.Like my high school locker room, things got a little out of hand here, and I ended up making Sticky Toffee Pudding twice this week, the second time in my Baker’s Edge pan. If using one, bake the pudding for 35 to 40 minutes.
For the toffee sauce
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (90g) demerara or muscovado sugar, or another dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup or molasses
pinch of salt
For the pudding
6 ounces (180g) pitted dates, snipped or chopped
1 cup (250ml) water
1 teaspoon baking soda
optional: 1/3 cup (40g) candied ginger, chopped
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (190C) and butter an 8 1/2-inch (24cm) porcelain soufflé dish (or similar-sized baking dish.)
2. Make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, demerara or turbinado sugar, golden syrup (or molasses) and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.
3. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared soufflé dish and place the dish in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.
4. To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the ginger, if using, then set aside, but keep it slightly warm.
5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. (Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks a bit curdled.)
7. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Don’t overbeat the batter.
8. Remove the soufflé dish from the freezer and scrape the batter into the soufflé dish and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
9. Remove the pudding from the oven, and let cool slightly before serving.

Serving: Spoon portions of the cake into serving bowls and douse with additional warm toffee sauce. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are good accompaniments, although I enjoy it just as it is.

Note: To make the pudding in advance, bake the cake without the toffee in the bottom. Let cool, then cover until close to serving time. Poke the cake about fifteen times with a chopstick. Distribute half of the sauce over the top, as shown in the photo, cover with foil, then re-warm in a 300F (150C) oven, for 30 minutes.