What’s In A Name

Country of OriginEngland

The Sticky Toffee Pudding has been stuff of legends. Not that it doesn’t exist. The proof is literally in the pudding!

Its origin, unlike mine, is slightly ambivalent. The story often told is that of a chef by the name of Francis Coulson, who served the first ever sticky toffee pudding at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in north-west England sometime in the 1970s. However, the recipe was actually given to him by a Patricia Martin of Claughton in Lancashire. History, am I right?!

If there’s one nation that truly understands the greatness of the pudding it is the United Kingdom. To the British, the pudding isn’t some petty dessert to be overlooked. No! It demands respect. It reminds us of an era nearing extinction – one in which we never feared fat, sugar, or gluten. Ah yes! The good times!

Seriously though, what is not to love about the toffee pudding?! It’s the perfect end to a meal during the bleak cold winters that the country is notoriously famous for. The decadence of the black treacle in the toffee sauce oozing across the smooth rich brown date pudding, is enough to make even the most diabetic of patients salivate in their mouth. Not to mention the addition of the single scoop of fresh cream/vanilla ice cream!

Our Connection

WhereMade in Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
April, 2018

I reckon the weather plays a big part in what we would like to eat on a particular day. Perhaps as much or more so than our actual appetite.

Case in point: It was the start of my two week break for Easter and I found myself (with my dad) in the heart of the Northern Irish capital of Belfast. As is the norm with the English/Northern Irish weather, it was a dull, grey and overcast evening. The skies had threatened to unleash a downpour of rain the whole day but had yet to follow through.

It was the type of weather than enticed a warm, comfortable, homely meal. As we were there for only a few days, we hadn’t planned on doing any home cooking. Fortunately, there was a local, modern/contemporary establishment – Made in Belfast – a hop, skip, and jump away from our AirBnb.

As we made ourselves comfortable inside the restaurant, the skies burst with a thunderous applause of rain. Which made the meal all the more inviting. A Melt-in-your Mouth Braised Short-Rib, A Hearty Glazed Crispy Pork Belly, but nothing was as inviting or as perfect (given the weather) as the small plate of warm, gooey, and obviously sweet Sticky Toffee Pudding.

It was in that first bite when I fell in love with the dish. So much so that when I was sitting in my room, a few months later, feeling absolutely bored to death that I thought – “You know what I feel like having? Some Sticky Toffee Pudding! Let’s give it a go, shall we?”


Sticky Toffee Pudding

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 35 mins Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8
Best Season: Winter


"It's a dark, gloomy winter's afternoon. The sky is a dull grey and there's a nip in the air. You aren't really sure whether it's better to be out and about or under a blanket inside. But one thing's for certain! It's the kind of weather where you open up your oven and there's a surprise waiting inside. Heyyyyy puddin'!!"



Toffee Sauce



  1. Place the dates1 in a small bowl. Sprinkle the bicarbonate soda over the dates and submerge them in hot water

  2. Cover the bowl and leave it to soften on the side whilst you prepare the pudding batter

  3. Time to make the pudding! Add 85 g of butter2 and all of the sugar to a large bowl and whisk vigorously3 until it turns pale yellow

  4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into the bowl and whisk until they are completely incorporated into the batter

  5. Pour the malt drink and yogurt into the bowl. Continue to whisk until the ingredients are completely incorporated

  6. Sift 170g of the flour and all of the baking powder4 into the bowl. Using a spatula, fold the flour into the wet ingredients to form a smooth pudding batter

  7. By now the dates would've softened to the desired texture. Using a slotted spoon, add the softened dates to a blender5 and pulse until you get a smooth date paste

  8. Pour the smooth date paste into the bowl and fold it in until it is completely incorporated into the pudding batter

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) with the fan on

  10. Grease6 the cake tin or baking dish7 with the remaining pudding-prescribed butter (5 g) and dust with the remaining flour (20 g) before pouring the batter

  11. Pour the pudding batter into the cake/baking tin. Using a spatula, spread the batter across evenly. Carefully shake the tin to ensure that the batter is spread evenly

  12. Place the baking tin into the oven8 and bake the pudding for 30-35 minutes or until the pudding is cooked through9

  13. Once the pudding is ready, take it out of the oven and leave it to the side to cool until it reaches room temperature 

Toffee Sauce

  1. With the pudding left to cool, it's time to focus on the toffee sauce. Add the prescribed butter and light muscovado sugar to a large saucepan and bring it over a low-medium heat

  2. When the butter starts to melt along with the sugar, stir until the sugar completely incorporates10 into the melted butter and a light caramel starts to form

  3. Once a caramel like texture has been obtained, pour in the double cream. Continue stirring until the caramel starts to lighten further and the double cream is no longer visible

  4. Leave the caramel on a low-medium heat for another 5 minutes or until you reach a syrup-like texture. Once ready, take the saucepan off the heat 

  5. To Serve (per serving): Slice a large piece of the Sticky Toffee Pudding. Place it on the centre of a dessert plate (small plate). Drizzle/Glaze the Pudding with the warm Toffee Sauce. Serve with either a scoop of Salted Caramel/Vanilla ice-cream or just plain Whipped Cream!


1. Remove any or all seeds that may be present inside the dates before adding them to a bowl.

2. The butter needs to be soft before you start whisking it. To soften butter, you can either take it out of the fridge and leave it to thaw outside for half an hour or place the butter in a bowl and heat it in a microwave for a few minutes until softened.

3. You can use either an electric whisk or whisk it manually by hand either using a large spoon or a balloon whisk.

4. If you are using self-raising flour, you can omit the baking powder. Alternatively, you can use gluten-free self-raising flour if you are gluten intolerant.

5. If you do not have a blender for the dates, DO NOT PANIC! I didn’t have one either! Simply pick up a fork and mash up the dates into a paste. The dates should have softened in the boiling water and bicarbonate mixture, so it should be relatively easy!

6. To grease, rub butter across the entire inside of the tin, including the sides. To dust, sprinkle flour over the greased baking tin and shake until the flour covers the entire insides. This will ensure that the pudding does not stick to the sides or the bottom of the tin during the baking process.

7. Alternatively, you can also line the insides of the baking tin with greaseproof paper/baking sheet. To do so, first grease the entire inside of tin. Then, add the baking sheet, ensuring that it sticks to the greased insides of the baking tin before adding the batter.

8. Some prefer steaming the sticky toffee pudding before baking them. To do so, tightly cover the baking tin with aluminium foil and place it in the oven for half of the baking time. This will create moisture inside the tin allowing the pudding to steam. Half-way through, take the aluminium foil off the tin and let it bake until it is cooked through.

9. To ensure that the pudding is baked through, use a toothpick or a fork and run it through the centre of the pudding. If the toothpick/fork comes out clean (no batter stuck to it) then it is ready to be taken out of the oven. 

10. If you feel that the ratio of melted butter to muscovado sugar is on the higher end, add another tablespoon of sugar. Continue stirring until the sugar incorporates entirely into the melted butter.

11. The prices of the ingredients (table below) are only rough estimates and are subject to change!

12. As certain ingredients are common household items - salt, pepper, oil - you may not be required to purchase them, and so the cost of preparing this dish is lower.

Keywords: Eggs, Dessert

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