Sticky Toffee Pudding with Walnut Sauce

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“I can’t resist a good sticky toffee pudding. For me, this is the perfect ending to a meal on a cold wintry day.
It pays to use Medjool dates here as their toffee-like flavour adds depth to the pudding.”
Gordon Ramsay, ‘Cooking for Friends’

I make this as an alternative to Christmas Pudding, now a tradition which stemmed from the children disliking brandy and currants. However, I have also made it throughout autumn and winter if I am entertaining. It is a hit when served with vanilla ice-cream.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Walnut Sauce

Serves 6-8
225g (8oz) ready-to-eat stoned dates * 115g (4oz) walnuts * 1 carrot, peeled * 1 dessert apple, peeled and cored * 2 tbsp golden syrup * 4 tbsp brandy * 115g (4oz) cold butter, cut into cubes * 2 eggs, beaten * 140g (5oz) golden caster sugar * 170g (6oz) self-raising flour * 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda * 170g (6oz) golden caster sugar * 115g (4oz) butter * 30g (1oz) walnuts, roughly chopped * 6 tbsp double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas 3. Butter and line the base of a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint pudding basin with greaseproof paper. Roughly chop the dates in the food processor. Then separately food process the walnuts, carrot and apple. Place the dates, walnuts, carrot, apple, golden syrup and brandy into the food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the butter, eggs and sugar. Blitz. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Blitz. Then put into a basin. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Heat the sugar and butter in a pan on a medium heat, until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Add the walnuts and cream to the caramel and bring to a simmer. Stir. Turn out the pudding and decorate with the walnut sauce.

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