Hawksmoor at Home Sticky Toffee Pudding

The Hawksmoor Sticky Toffee Pudding (STP) is sublime. I was stuffed to the gills from the previous two courses, my stomach protesting vehmently at the thought of dessert. But one taste of this deliciously rich pudding, and I somehow found space for more. After that, it was a must-make at home! Armed with the recipe from the cookbook, I set to work.

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Because I am fussy, I baked this a few times to work out how to replicate the Hawksmoor version as much as possible. Just following the recipe produces a slightly rougher-textured pud, with tangible pieces of chopped date poking their way through the sponge. By blending the date mixture to a puree, you get a far smoother result. Although the recipe states dariole moulds, I had a good look at pictures online and I think it is actually baked in mini pudding moulds.

Just for fun, I baked the pud in both moulds to compare the two. The dariole moulds produce a tall sleek shape that looks very elegant. A moreish couple of mouthfuls and it’s gone.

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The pudding mould predictably produces a fatter, more traditional rounded STP. The sponge is beautifully soft and bouncy, and hungrily soaks up the toffee sauce.

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Given their thinner shape, the dariole STPs definitely require less baking than the pudding mould STPs. My first batch had a thicker, slightly chewy crust, so I took the next lot out five minutes earlier, and that seemed  to do the trick. I also compared ceramic pudding moulds with metal ones. I wouldn’t recommend using ceramic moulds unless you are serving the puddings inside them. They took longer to bake in the middle and were difficult to extract from the moulds, despite liberal buttering beforehand.

Anyway, like all good puddings, STP must be served hot. So it’s a bit of a organisation kerfuffle to make sure you have your puddings out of the oven, the sauce bubblingly hot, and the plates warmed before the whole lot come together into a delightful mouthful. It tastes sweet, but not overly so, and deliciously rich. Very good in small quantities.

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Just don’t count the calories, because there are a gazillionty-billionty. Also bear in mind when making this that the Hawksmoor recipe makes colossal quantities. I halved the recipe, partly for the sake of my waist-hip ratio, and for lack of freezer space.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Adapted from Hawksmoor at Home

Makes 8 (dariole moulds) or 6 (pudding moulds)

For the puddings:

  • 125g dates, roughly chopped
  • 3g bicarbonate of soda
  • 187ml boiling water
  • 40g beef suet
  • 63g dark muscovado sugar
  • 62g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 162g self-raising flour
  • 3g baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt

For the toffee sauce:

  • 63g dark muscovado sugar
  • 62g light muscovado sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125ml double cream
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Butter your moulds well, and cut out circles of baking paper to cover the base of each mould. Prepare the same number of foil squares to make lids for the moulds.

Put the chopped dates and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl. Pour over the boiling water. Leave to stand for several minutes. Meanwhile, mix the sugars and suet together. Crack in the egg, and mix together. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Blend the chopped dates and liquid into a puree with a stick blender.

Now fold half the date puree into the bowl of sugar, suet and egg. Then fold in the floury mixture until combined. Finally fold in the remaining date puree.

Fill each mould two-thirds full, and cover each with a foil square to form a lid. Place the moulds onto a baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Whilst the puddings are baking, measure out all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Put on a low heat. Once melted, simmer for around 5 minutes until thickened. If you are serving the puddings straight away then unmould each pudding. Some may need the bases trimming flat so they stand up straight. Plate the puddings individually onto warmed serving plates, and ladle a spoonful of toffee sauce over each pudding, going round one by one, and adding more as they soak the hot sauce up.

If making the puddings for later, divide the sauce into two. After unmoulding and trimming the puddings, stand them all together in one dish, and cover with half the piping hot sauce as above. Allow them to soak all this up. Cover the dish, until the puddings are needed.

When needed, reheat the puddings in their dish, covered in foil, in a 180˚C oven for around 15 minutes until warm. Reheat the remaining sauce until hot, and pour over each pudding as before. Hawksmoor recommend serving with cold clotted cream or ice-cream. Mmmmmm.

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6 thoughts on “Hawksmoor at Home Sticky Toffee Pudding

  1. Oh man, I need some of that in my belly. NOW! Haha. If I see sticky toffee pudding on a dessert menu I have to order it, every time! I like the idea of pureed dates to give a smoother texture. A good way of tricking people who say they don’t like dates but claim to love stick toffee pudding!

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  2. in Australia we call this sticky date pudding and it’s so epic, I could be stuffed beyond belief and still manage to spoon a serving in! x x

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  3. I tested half a dozen STP recipes and really liked this one. The use of suet was a revelation, yielding an unexpectedly light sponge. Who knew!?! I cooked the sauce a touch thicker so that to it coated and clung to the sponge, then served it with a thinner pouring sauce spiked with black treacle. Next time I’m near a Hawksmoor I’ll try the original. Thanks for sharing and for the tips.

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