Luscious, sticky, irresistible steamed puds are one of Britain's greatest culinary gifts to the world - and they're a doddle to make
Makes 6 individual puddings
Takes 25 minutes to make and 15-18 minutes to bake, plus cooling
For the sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Butter 6 x 200ml individual pudding moulds.
2. Put the dates, rum and 100ml boiling water into a small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dates are very soft. Set aside to cool.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a bowl and mix together well. In another bowl, beat the softened butter and the sugar together with an electric hand whisk for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Alternate adding in the flour mixture and dates, a little at a time, mixing in each addition well before adding the next. Spoon evenly between the moulds, smoothing the tops. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each pudding comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce. Put the cream, sugar and butter into a pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the rum and cook for a further minute, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Pour the sauce over the warm puddings and serve immediately.
Tip: You can freeze the puddings and sauce separately for up to 3 months. Defrost completely, then reheat at 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 for 8-10 minutes.
© delicious. magazine
The best chefs on TV and over 6,000 recipes