Sticky Toffee Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

225g (8 oz) stoned chopped dates
300 ml (10 fl oz) boiling water
115g (4 oz) soft butter
175g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tbsp Camp coffee essence

For the Sticky Toffee Sauce:
115g (4 oz) butter
175g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
150ml (5 fl oz) double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
A little boiling water

To decorate:
3 tbsp chopped pecan nuts

Serves 8.

Pour the boiling water over the dates and leave to soak with the pan on the warm top plate for five minutes before removing and leaving to cool a little.  Cream the fat and the sugar together thoroughly.  Sieve the flour and stir a tablespoon into the butter and sugar mixture before gradually adding the beaten egg a tablespoon at a time.  Fold in the remainder of the flour.  Add the Bicarbonate of Soda and coffee essence to the slightly cooled dates and water and stir into the mixture to form a soft batter.

MAIN OVEN 180°C (350°F), GAS MARK 4

Pour into a well-buttered 25cm (10 inch) oval baking dish and cook on a grid shelf on the lowest set of runners for 1¼ -1½ hours.

While the pudding is baking, make the sauce.  Melt the butter, sugar and cream in a small pan on the simmering end of the hotplate. Once the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.  Cool a little before adding the vanilla and add a little boiling water to thin to a suitable consistency before pouring over the cooked pudding.  Sprinkle with the nuts and return to the hot oven to heat through and allow the sauce to bubble before serving with extra sticky toffee sauce.