Date and Toffee Pudding with Caramelized Bananas and the Ultimate Toffee Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min (includes soaking, cooling and setting times)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Pudding:

2/3 cup dark rum

1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out

1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out 

9 ounces chopped dates 

4 1/2 ounces butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 

5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 

4 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar 

3 free-range eggs 

2 teaspoons baking soda 

Toffee Sauce:

6 ounces demerara sugar

5 3/4 ounces butter 

1 tablespoon golden syrup 

1 tablespoon black treacle or molasses

2 1/4 cups double cream (see Cook's Note)

Pinch salt 

2 bananas, thinly sliced 

Demerara sugar, for dusting 

Directions

Special equipment:
6 to 8 individual pudding molds or loaf tins and a kitchen blowtorch
  1. For the pudding: In a pan, bring the rum, vanilla seeds and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to the boil. Place the dates in a bowl, pour the liquid over the dates and leave to soak for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 to 8 individual pudding molds or loaf tins (depending on how many people you are serving).
  3. Cream the butter and dark brown sugar with an electric hand mixer in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Sift in the flour and baking soda. Mix, and then fold in the date and rum mixture.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared molds and bake until just firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. For the toffee sauce: Put the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and cook, without stirring, until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and you have a deep-brown caramel. Meanwhile, gently warm the cream in a saucepan. Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully add one-third of the cream. Once the bubbling has subsided, whisk in the remaining cream. Add a pinch of salt and pass through a fine sieve. Set aside until needed.
  6. Fan the banana slices into circles on top of the cooked puddings. Dust with demerara sugar and caramelize with a kitchen blowtorch (alternatively place the puddings under the broiler). Set aside for a few minutes to allow the sugar to cool and set, then serve with the toffee sauce.

Cook’s Note

Double cream, which is similar to heavy cream and has a butterfat content of 48 percent, can be found in specialty stores.