Developing recipes is awful, just awful. You have to force yourself to eat the same delicious puddings over and over again until you've got the ingredients and method all sorted. In the past few weeks I have eaten more sticky toffee pudding than any human possibly should. My arteries are probably screaming at me to stop - but I just can't. Even now I'm tempted to make another one, in fact I could even forgo supper altogether for another bowl of this.
Salted caramel sauce and light and goey sponge pudding aside, the best thing about this recipe is that you can have yourself pudding in less than 40 minutes. It's super easy and I just cannot tell you how good it is (even if I do say so myself). The pumpkin makes it lighter than other sticky toffee puddings, so it has the texture of a steamed pud rather than a baked one. But it still has the stickiness from the dates and the amazing sauce.
We're about to enter prime pumpkin season, so you could make your own pumpkin puree, but every method I read about seemed a faff, and meant there would be several hours between me and pudding rather than a mere 40 minutes. So I used Libby's Canned Pumpkin Puree, which i bought from Waitrose, but I've since found out that it's available in Tesco and online too. It was by the canned fruit in Waitrose if that helps you hunt it down.
You will also need
100g dates 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 85g softened butter 170g caster sugar 2 large eggs 170g self raising flour 1 tsp mixed spice 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 can Libby's Pumpkin Puree
For the sauce 115g butter 115g light muscavado sugar 140ml double cream A pinch of good sea salt
Pre heat your oven to 180c. Butter an ovenproof dish. Don't be tempted to cook this in a pudding basin. I tried it and it takes forever for the inside to cook and the outside ends up charred.
Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over your dates and pour over enough freshly boiled water to cover them. Set them aside to soften.
Cream together your butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Mix together the flour and spices and carefully stir into the egg and butter mixture. don't over mix.
Drain the water from the dates reserving two tablespoons. Blitz the dates and water until they form a smooth but thick paste. Fold into the mixture along with the pumpkin puree.
Pour into the ovenproof dish and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Meanwhile make the sauce by melting the butter, sugar and cream together in a pan. Bring to the boil and allow to thicken for a couple of minutes. Stir in the sea salt and allow to dissolve before serving generously over the lovely pud.
Seconds are encouraged