DAIRY FREE STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
It’s a date with a date! Excuse the pun for this sugar high, showstopping pudding that will simply leave anyone eating it lost for words. Stating the obvious if you are on a diet, hit the gym hard before gobbling a portion away, because lets face it, life is too short to pass over this taste sensation.
It’s not all bad since the main ingredient of this dessert is the Medjool dates. Rich in natural sweetness, fibre and potassium, as well as many other vitamins and minerals, you can tell yourself how almost healthy this pudding is. Medjool dates are a large, plump variety with a soft and succulent flesh that became known as the ‘Fruit of Kings’. I bought mine for a steal at a local market, so if cost is an issue, search around there will be somewhere selling them for a deal.
Being Jew-ish I prepared this meal to finish a meaty Friday night meal. So dairy free I went. Now, so you don’t have to do, I flicked through my cookery books and recipes online looking for the ‘best’ one. In the past the cake part has been too heavy, stodgy, annoyingly dense that I didn’t want to repeat this mistake. Then I came across the wonderful Felicity Cloak from the Guardian with this superb recipe. I made some adjustments and after cooking the recipe again for the another group of friends, this will or at least I hope never fail you. Happy baking.
- 175g medjool dates, stoned and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 300ml boiling water, with a tea bag
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of allspice
- Zest of an orange
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 80g golden caster sugar
- 80g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 175g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g ground almonds (this orgionally was pecans, but i think that almonds makes the cake lighter)
- For the sauce:
- 115g Dairy free butter unsalted butter (I use Pure, Soya Butter)
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 40g dark muscovado sugar
- 140ml Alpro Soy Cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Butter a baking dish approximately 24cm x 24cm. (I have started using plastic moulds, that way you don’t have to add extra grease to line them come out beautifully).
2. Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients into a pan with a pinch of salt and heating slowly until the butter has melted, then turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil for about 4 minutes, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour half the sauce into the base of the dish and then put it in the freezer while you make the rest of the pudding.
3. Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a heatproof dish and cover with the boiling water. Add the teabag, orange zest, cinnamon and all spice.Leave to soften while you prepare the rest of the pudding.
4. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cloves and a pinch of salt until well combined, and then add the dates. REMOVE the teabag then add the soaking water, and the almonds, and mix well.
5. Take the dish out of the freezer and pour the batter on top of the toffee sauce. Put into the oven for 30 minutes, until firm to the touch, and then take out of the oven.
6. Heat the grill to medium, and poke a few small holes evenly over the surface with a skewer or fork, and then pour over the rest of the sauce. Put briefly under the grill, keeping an eye on it as it can easily burn. Serve with vanilla ice cream.