Christmas pudding might be traditional, but it's not always a favourite with everyone around the table. So, if you're looking for a crowd-pleaser, it's hard to beat a good sticky toffee.
Here's what you'll need along with tips from Tom Aikens, the chef at Tom's Kitchen, below:
You will need (to serve seven):
20ml vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter
140g demerara sugar
10ml whole milk
1. Stone and chop the dates quite small, put them in a bowl, then pour boiling water over them. Leave for about 30 minutes until cool and well-soaked, then mash slightly with a fork.
2. Stir in the vanilla extract. Butter and flour seven mini pudding tins (each about 200ml/7fl oz) and sit them on a baking sheet. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
3. While the dates are soaking, make the puddings. Mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda together. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
4. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for a few minutes until slightly creamy (the mixture will be grainy from the sugar).
5. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the black treacle then, using a large metal spoon, gently fold in one-third of the flour, then half the milk, being careful not to overbeat.
6. Repeat until all the flour and milk is used. Stir the soaked dates into the pudding batter. The mix may look a little curdled at this point and will be like a soft, thick batter.
7. Spoon it evenly between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and firm.
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