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When the weather turns cold, there's nothing more warming nor comforting than a big bowl of sticky toffee pudding drenched in cream or accompanied by a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This version of sticky toffee pudding, adapted from Lia Leendertz's book The Almanac, is packed with fruit, including dates and apricots, and has a subtle crunch provided by a handful of pecan nuts. It's super easy to make and is sure to become a family staple all year round.
For the sauce
75g golden caster sugar
40g dark muscovado sugar
140ml double cream
Pinch of salt
For the pudding
175g dates, stoned and chopped small
50g dried apricots
300ml boiling water
1tsp bicarbonate soda
50g butter, softened
80g golden caster sugar
80g drak muscovao sugar
2 eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of ground cloves
75g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 180°C and butter a 24cm x 24cm baking dish.
Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan, heating slowly until they combine, and then boil for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
Pour half of the sauce into the base of the baking dish and refrigerated.
Put the dates, apricots and bicarb soda into a bowl. Pour the boiling water on top, then leave to soak and soften.
To make the rest of the pudding, cream the butter and sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Fold in the flour, baking powder and cloves, along with the soaked fruit (and the water) and the pecans. Stir well.
Pour the batter on to the top of the sauce in the baking dish and bake for around 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, tip on the rest of the sauce and grill under a medium heat until the sauce bubbles. Cut into squares and serve with ice cream or cream and garnish with additional pecans if you like.