In light of National Baking Week, resident expert Beca Lyne-Pirkis recreates a beloved British dessert
For the sponge:
150g dates, chopped
150g butter, soft (plus extra for greasing)
100g dark brown sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp black treacle
280g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
For the toffee sauce:
300ml double cream
150g dark brown sugar
For the nut brittle:
100g caster sugar
75g almonds or hazelnuts
Lightly whipped double cream
175g nut brittle
Grease and line 12 muffin tin holes and preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the chopped dates along with 150ml of boiling water into a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 mins, until the dates are soft and have absorbed the water.
Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and treacle and the eggs 1 at a time, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the date mixture then divide between the muffin holes. Loosely cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until baked.
While the sponge is cooking, make the toffee sauce. Place 150ml of the cream, the butter and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3 mins until the sauce is glossy. Now add in the remaining cream.
To make the nut brittle, place the sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns to a beautiful amber caramel. Remove from the heat and add the nuts and stir to coat them with the caramel. Pour the brittle onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and pop to one side to cool.
To serve, place a pudding per person in a bowl and spoon over some of the toffee sauce. Top the pudding with a spoonful of cream, roughly chop the brittle and scatter over the cream and puddings. Eat immediately.
Recipe: Beca Lyne-Pirkis