This is another family favourite, we all go completely crazy for it and my dad has even started “ordering” it for family occasions. After trying several recipes, we all agreed that the ideal combination was Rachel Allen‘s sticky toffee pudding (as it’s not too dry) with Gregg Wallace‘s warm toffee sauce. Rachel’s sauce is a bit too sweet for us and Greg’s cake is too dry, but the combination works a treat! Here’s how to make it:
Preheat the oven to 160 C (350°F). Butter and flour the sides of a 20 cm (8in) spring-form tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Place 225 g chopped and stoned dates in a saucepan with 250 ml black tea and bring to the boil. Cook for a few minutes to soften the dates, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Beat 100 g softened butter in a large bowl or an electric food mixer until soft. Add 175 light brown sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, then beat in 1 tsp mixed spice and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Fold in the date mixture. Sift in 225 g self-raising flour and 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and fold in gently until mixed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is just firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to stand in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a serving plate.
While the cake is cooking, make the toffee sauce: pour 75 ml cream (you need 150 ml (double) cream in total), 75 g light brown sugar and 25 g butter into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3-4 mins until the sauce is glossy and thick, then stir in the remaining 75 ml cream. Re-heat the sauce when you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!