Rich, buttery and delightfully scrumptious, this sticky toffee pudding cake is one sweet treat you'll make over and over again! Easy, tried and tested recipe for perfect results every time!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Measure the hot freshly boiled water (straight from the kettle), pour into a large bowl and add the chopped dates. Stir and leave until lukewarm. Meanwhile, measure out all the other sponge cake ingredients, add to the dates and water and mix together. Put this mixture into the bowl of a food processor and process or pulse until smooth, but with a few tell-tale specks of date still visible.
Generously butter a baking dish of at least 2-litre capacity (9 x13) on all surfaces and pour in the sponge batter. (Note: It is important that the chosen dish will be filled no more than half-full by the mixture, as it rises a great deal during cooking and you will need room to pour over the topping.) Bake for about 30 minutes, or just until firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, make both the sticky toffee pudding sauce and the extra sauce by heating the ingredients gently in individual pans, whisking regularly, until they briefly boil, and then smoothly amalgamate. You are making in effect two pans of butterscotch sauce. Set aside the extra sauce.
Pour the sticky toffee pudding sauce over the cooked pudding and place under a moderate grill or broiler just until bubbling and sticky looking, roughly 2-3 minutes. Watch this carefully as this doesn't take long.
Spoon into individual bowls and pour around the warmed up extra sauce.
The remaining cold double cream, even though you might think it redundant, offers a very nice, cooling contrast to all that hot, sticky sponge and sweet sauces. Don't leave it out. Simply pour the cold cream over the sponge cake or whip it first, if preferred, and place it on top of the pudding. Some add vanilla ice cream instead of the cold cream. Your choice. Enjoy!
TRICKS & TIPS:
Molasses sugar is a must for this recipe so you can achieve the authentic taste of the classic English sticky toffee pudding so don't substitute (if possible) with regular brown sugar. You may purchase this sugar online or at Asian stores (Taiwanese dark sugar is what I use) or use dark muscovado sugar which has hint of molasses in it.
Molasses sugar is a deep dark brown and moist granular sugar. It can be used interchangeably with muscovado sugar, but molasses sugar has a stronger taste as compared to muscovado. Its distinctive molasses taste is due to its high content of molasses. Molasses sugar is often used in chutneys, pickles, and marinades, as well as in Christmas cakes. (Wikipedia)
Salted butter is preferred to provide contrast and cut down on the richness and sweetness of the sugar and molasses.