You didn’t think he only got a main course, did you? Every birthday meal needs a dessert! Chris is rather fond of this sticky toffee cake and that is what I was originally going to make for this birthday. But then I ordered a copy of Green and Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes and came across this recipe. Sticky toffee pudding AND chocolate? Yes please. So I suggested it to Chris (because I was just thinking about what Chris would like for his birthday, obviously. Not because I really, really wanted chocolate sticky toffee pudding. No no no. Not at all.) and he agreed that it sounded like something he’d want to put in his face. So I made this and we put it in our faces and I was so happy I could have exploded.
I’ve eaten a LOT of sticky toffee puddings. In restaurants, ready made from the supermarket and a few homemade ones and I have NEVER had one that comes close to the amazingness in this beautiful little monkey. I don’t know where the monkey bit came from either. Let’s move along. This is perfect. It is exactly what you want when you think of sticky toffee pudding. Only better, because there’s chocolate in it.
Chocolate sticky toffee pudding
For the pudding:
300ml boiling water
150g chopped dates
150g dark chocolate (I used Green and Black’s 70%)
100g butter, at room temperature
150g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
3 large eggs
225g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp baking powder
For the sauce:
275g golden syrup
275g light brown sugar
225ml double (heavy) crown
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) fan oven/180C (355F) conventional oven. Grease the sides of a 20cm diameter round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Put the water in a saucepan and keep it at a simmer. Soak the dates in it for 10 minutes then remove from the heat.
While the dates are soaking, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and light muscovado sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then stir in the melted chocolate.
Sift in the flour, bicarb and baking powder, then pour in the dates and the water they’ve been soaking in. Stir together until combined.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, checking after 45. Mine took 50 minutes in a 170C fan oven. Check that a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the pudding.
To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat over a medium-high heat. Boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent it from burning.
Transfer the pudding to a large plate and pour some of the sauce over the pudding. Reserve the rest so that people can take extra if they want to. Personally, I like my pudding SWIMMING in sauce. Nom nom nom.