This is the recipe forFrancis Coulson's original sticky date pudding, aka Sharrow Bay Icky Sticky Toffee Pudding, kindly given to me last Sunday by talented chefs Scott Wade and Sarah Knights, who are now running the Tracks Sports and Social Bistro at the Canterbury Club Hotel. Sarah, you might remember, recently featured in MasterChef the Professionals, and Scott has an impressive CV, having worked as head chef for Marco Pierre White in London. Their new joint venture is themed around a 1950s diner menu. Starters include Onion Rings (served on a hoopla) with three sauces, Buffalo Wings and Popcorn Chicken with Old Bay mayo. For mains there's Pulled Pork with home fries, Mac 'n'Cheese, Proper Fish 'n' Chips (with a lovely light beer batter coating) served with chips and mushy peas, Salmon Rissoles and Boilled Beef & Carrots. On Sundays, there's a fabulous Roast of the Day (your choice of two roasts with all the trimmings and proper Yorkshires) for just $15. It's astonishing value for money and they're spot on with the food.
- dried pitted dates - 340g
- water - 550ml
- bi-carbonate of soda - 2 tablespoons
- softened unsalted butter - 125g, diced
- caster sugar - 340g (1 1/2 cups)
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- self raising flour - 340g (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), sifted
- mixed spice - 1 teaspoon
- eggs - 4, free range or organic
- Butterscotch Sauce
- unsalted butter - 250g, diced
- brown sugar - 400g (2 1/2 cups)
- pouring cream - 300ml
Serve 8 - 10
Line a 30cm x 2ocm tin with baking paper. Cut the paper so that it reaches about 3cm higher than the sides.
Place the dates and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. When boiling, add the bi-carbonate of soda and remove immediately from heat. Allow to cool.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla. Sift in the flour and spice and mix thoroughly.
On slow speed, add the date mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating constantly at low speed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for about 40 minutes. Test for doneness with a metal skewer.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (or alfoil), then cut into pieces when cold - this step is important as it helps retain the moistness of the pudding.
To serve: reheat the pudding in a microwave and serve with Butterscotch Sauce and vanilla ice cream.
To make the Butterscotch Sauce: melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Pour in the cream, bring to boiling point and simmer until sauce is smooth.