Sticky Toffee Pudding
Ingredients (serves 8-10):
225g (8oz) chopped dates (use block dates)
300ml (10fl oz) tea
110g (4oz) unsalted butter
75g (3oz) Muscovado sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bread soda (bicarbonate of soda or baking soda)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Espresso coffee
Hot Toffee Sauce
110g (4oz) butter
175g (6oz) dark soft brown, Muscovado sugar
225ml (8fl oz) cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
20.5cm (8 inch) springform tin with removable base or a heavy cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Line the bottom and sides of the cake tin with Bakewell paper. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then fold in the sifted flour. Add the sieved bread soda, vanilla extract and coffee to the date and tea and stir this into the mixture. Turn into the lined tin and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt gently on low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cream and the vanilla extract. Put back on the heat and stir for 2 or 3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
Pour some hot sauce on to a serving plate. Put the sticky toffee pudding on top, pour lots more sauce over the top. Put the remainder into a bowl, and to serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.