RECIPE: Paul Rankin's Sticky Toffee Pudding

Paul Rankin reveals his recipe for sumptuous sticky toffee pud

An all time favourite, this sticky toffee pudding gets real depth of flavour from the sweetness of the dates.

A generous dose of Bushmills whiskey cuts through the butterscotch sauce and adds great character.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Bushmills Butterscotch Sauce
Serves: 6-8
75g unsalted butter
150g sugar
2 eggs, beaten
100ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon coffee essence
200g fresh dates, stoned, finely chopped
175ml boiling water
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

for the butterscotch sauce:

3 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 tablespoon light golden brown sugar
200ml whipping cream
200ml Bushmill’s whiskey
1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C for a fan oven)

Pour the boiling water over the chopped dates, set aside to soak and cool. Sift the flour and the baking soda together.

Add the vanilla and coffee essences to the milk. 

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly, waiting until it has been incorporated each time, before adding more. 

Take the bowl off the machine, fold in the flour and the milk alternately by hand. Lastly, pour in the date mixture. The mix will be rather light and runnier than a cake batter. 

Ladle into greased individual moulds, and place on a baking sheet in the centre of a moderate oven. Bake for 30 minutes approx., until they are firm, and starting to pull away from the sides of the moulds.

Remove from oven, turn out on to a wire rack to cool.

To make the sauce, put the butter in a medium sized saucepan, over medium high heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the brown sugar. Stir together for about 3 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the whole mass is foaming and bubbling. 

Carefully, pour in the cream followed by the Bushmills, and turn down the heat. Let it all come together, and boil for about another minute or two, and remove from heat. Add the vanilla essence. Allow to cool slightly.

To serve, place the puddings onto warmed plates, and ladle a generous spoonful of the sauce over the top. A dollop of whipped cream will finish it off perfectly. If wrapped in clingfilm, these puddings keep well for a couple of days, and they can be reheated in the microwave in just a minute or two.

Paul & Jeanne Rankin's bestselling New Irish Cookery is available at all good bookshops.