85g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g soft Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
100ml Irish (preferably peated) Whiskey (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
For the sauce
300ml heavy cream
200g dark brown sugar
60g unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Butter 6 x 200ml individual pudding
2. Put the dates, whiskey and 100ml boiling water (or omit whiskey and add 200ml
water) into a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer
for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dates are very soft. Set
aside to cool.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt into a bowl
and mix together well. In another bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar
together with an electric hand whisk for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time,
mixing well after each addition.
4. Alternate adding in the flour mixture and dates, a little at a time, mixing
in each addition well before adding the next. Spoon evenly between the moulds,
smoothing the tops. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the
centre of each pudding comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out
onto a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Put the cream, sugar and butter into a pan
and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, until the sauce is smooth and
thickened. Pour the sauce over the warm puddings and serve immediately with or
without ice cream.