Sticky Toffee Christmas Pud

Sticky Toffee Christmas Pud

One for all the raisin-haters out there who dread the arrival of the Christmas pudding! This is a traditional-style, suet pudding with a hint of festive spices, smothered in salted caramel sauce and not a raisin in sight! A perfectly decadent and alternative ending to your Christmas dinner.

This recipe serves 6-8 (it’s pretty rich so you won’t need much!)

Cook it in a 2lb (1 ltr) ceramic, pyrex or metal pudding basin. It can be cooked up to 3 days before you want to eat it, kept well covered in the basin, and then reheated (in the oven or microwave) to serve.

Alternatively, prepare the mixture up to 24 hours in advance, keep it in the fridge, and then just bake it in the oven while you’re eating lunch, ready for pudding!

The sauce can also be made up to 3 days in advance and reheated.

Serve with some vanilla icecream, cream or crème fraiche (or even brandy butter!) on the side.

Note: If you don’t want to use suet, you can substitute it for 100g of butter at room temperature, which you add to the blender along with the dates. This will give you a lighter, more sponge-like pudding.

Pudding Ingredients:

  • 100 grams dates, stones removed
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams vegetable suet (or butter - see note above)
  • 50 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 50 g golden syrup
  • 100 grams self raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • pinch of salt

Salted caramel sauce Ingredients:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 50 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 25g salted butter
  • 25g golden syrup
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Find a 2lb (1 ltr) pudding basin, and draw round the top and bottom of it on baking paper. Cut out two circles of baking paper.
  2. Grease the inside of the pudding basin with butter, and place the smaller circle of baking paper in the bottom (to help get the pudding out in one piece!). Leave the larger circle of paper to one side for now.
  3. Put the dates and milk into a small saucepan, and heat very gently for 10 minutes until the dates have softened and absorbed most of the milk.
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  5. In a food processor with a blade (or with a stick blender if you don’t have a food processor) put the dates and milk, egg, sugar and syrup.
  6. Blend until the mixture is smooth and the dates have broken down into tiny pieces.
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  8. Weigh the flour, salt, spices and suet into a bowl, Add the date mixture and mix with a spoon just enough to combine everything.
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  10. Scrape the mixture into the pudding basin and place the other circle of baking paper over the top of the mixture. Cover it tightly with tin foil.
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  12. Put the basin into a deep sided baking tray. Half fill the tray with boiling water from the kettle (this helps it steam gently as it cooks). It will need an hour in the oven, until it has puffed up and feels firm when you press the top[. If you’re not sure – remove the paper and stick a skewer into the pudding to check that it is cooked through. Alternatively, cook on the stove in a saucepan filled with enough boiling water to come almost all the way to the top of the pudding basin. This method takes about 50 minutes, and you may need to top up the water half way through.
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  14. As the pudding cooks, make the sauce. Simply combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes until it is smooth and thick. Pour into a jug and leave aside (can be reheated or served cold).
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