A rich and intense recipe for this classic British dessert from Nigella Lawson's At My Table.
My sticky toffee pudding is altogether deeper and darker than the original version: it is still sweet, but the muscovado sugar and black treacle give it an almost savage intensity. It seems redolent of ginger, cloves, allspice – and yet none of these spices are used. It’s a miracle. I don’t understand it – but then, miracles are not to be questioned. It shouldn’t be eaten piping hot, but warm; once the sponge has been topped with a glaze of the sauce, and had its 30 minutes’ waiting time, it will be at optimum temperature. And cold – should you have any leftovers – a slab of it cut from the dish tastes like the most magnificent sticky gingerbread. You will find it easier to measure out the black treacle if you run your spoon under a hot tap first.
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
Cuts into 9 slabs
- 200g soft dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 200ml water from a freshly boiled kettle
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 50g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the sauce:
- 150g soft, unsalted butter
- 300g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 200ml double cream, plus more to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan and lightly grease your dish. Put the chopped dates, boiling water and bicarb into a bowl, give a stir and then leave for 10 minutes.
Cream the butter and black treacle until well mixed, then add the sugar and mix again, beating out any lumps. Beat in an egg and keep beating – scraping down as necessary – until completely incorporated, then do likewise with the other egg. Beating more gently, add the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth, thick batter.
Using a fork, stir the soaked dates, squishing them a bit, then pour the dates and their liquid into the batter and beat gently to mix in.
Pour and scrape into your prepared dish or cake tin and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
While the pudding’s in the oven, you can make the sauce. Melt the butter, muscovado sugar and treacle over a very low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. Once the butter’s melted, stir gently until everything else is melted too. Now stir in the cream, then turn up the heat and when it’s bubbling and hot, take it off the heat.
As soon as it’s out of the oven, prick the cooked sponge pudding all over with a cocktail stick and pour about a quarter of the warm sauce over, easing it to the edges with a spatula so that the sponge is entirely topped with a thick sticky glaze. Put a lid on the remaining sauce in the pan to keep it warm.
Leave for 20–30 minutes, or up to an hour is fine, then take to the table, with the rest of the sauce in the jug, and cream to serve.
This ginger-spiked carrot cake from Nigella Lawson’s At My Table is perfect for teatime or dessert.
I have been making a banana bread with chocolate and tahini on repeat for a while now, and every time I’ve eaten it over the last year or so, I couldn’t help thinking that the particular combination of intense chocolatiness, sweet, texture-softening banana and the rich earthiness of tahini would make the perfect warm pudding.
This is not exactly the same as perhaps the most precious recipe in my repertoire, My Mother’s Praised Chicken, which found a home in my eighth book, Kitchen, but it owes a lot to it. A family favourite, it’s a simple one-pot dish which brings comfort and joy, and it is my pleasure to share that with you.
Try this free recipe from Nigella Christmas.
Try this vegan chocolate cake recipe from Simply Nigella.
This recipe has been a fan favourite for over a decade. Cut it into slices for the kids or into tiny squares as a treat with your cuppa. It also freezes well, so you can stash a few squares away for when no one is looking.
This hearty soup is a proper hug in a mug. The ricotta and Parmesan topping really fulfills the 'lasagne' promise, but if you don’t want to bother you can just top it with grated cheese and it’ll still be a winner. The super-cheesy garlicky toasties are a good addition to any tomatoey soup — or just eat them on their own!
Sausage rolls will always be über-cool, no matter what anyone says. They're always the first to be nabbed at morning tea, classily dressed-up with a generous splurt of store-bought tomato sauce... crispy, juicy little taste bombs.
With fragrant spices, tomatoes, cashew butter and yoghurt.
With red pesto-layered filo, Cheddar and cottage cheese.
With cajun spice, mango, sweet cherry tomatoes and lime.
One of the rather pathetic realities of the fact that so many of the restaurants in France are disappointing these days is the almost tearful joy in finding one that’s everything you would have hoped for, often from your childhood or teenage memories. Such a place is Le Bistro du Paradou near Arles.