One of my favourite treats at this time of the year is my sticky toffee pudding with plenty of caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream. These puddings are easily frozen so are perfect if you’re needing to prepare for event, or just to have a stock in the freezer.

Cavens Country House is a beautifully restored Georgian house, situated just Kirkbean, that has a number of classic and tasteful rooms as well as a restaurant that celebrates the best local and seasonal produce.

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Makes 9 or 10 individual puddings.


For the sponge:

250g dates, pitted

250ml water

½ tsp vanilla paste

Demerara sugar, for coating the moulds

200g dark brown muscovado sugar

65g unsalted butter, softened

200g self-raising flour

1 tbsp black treacle

1 tbsp golden syrup

2 eggs

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

9 or 10 dariole moulds

For the butterscotch sauce:

180g unsalted butter

200g dark brown demerara

500ml double cream

For serving:

Vanilla ice-cream, optional


1 Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

2 Start off by making the sponges. Add the pitted dates, water and vanilla paste to a pan and gently simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, then set to one side and cool.

3 Prepare the dariole moulds by buttering the inside and coating with demerara sugar, making sure to shake off any excess sugar. This stops the mixture from sticking to the moulds.

4 In a separate bowl, combine the butter and muscovado sugar together and beat until smooth. Then add the black treacle and golden syrup to the butter and sugar and mix until combined.

5 Next, add the flour to the butter and sugar mix. It should come together and have a bread crumb-like texture. If the mixture is too wet, add some more flour until the desired texture is reached. Then add the eggs and mix until combined.

6 Using a food processor, whizz up the cooled dates, water and vanilla paste mix until smooth. Then add the bicarbonate of soda. Make sure this is evenly distributed throughout the mix.

7 Add the date mixture to the other mixture and combine well. Fill each of the moulds approximately half-full and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes.

8 While the sponges are baking make the butterscotch sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and add the demerara sugar and cream. Heat until melted and fully combined, making sure to stir regularly.

9 Once the sponges are ready, remove from the oven and turn out into a bowl. Pour over the sauce and immediately serve with a ball of vanilla ice-cream.

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