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FRIDAY NIGHT DINNERS: Sticky date pudding w/ chai masala spiced toffee sauce

This twist on our best-selling classic brings some spice warmth to the sauce, replicating the rich flavours found in chai masala.

Serves 8.


Core ingredients

  • 85g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g chopped dates
  • 150ml boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in a little boiling water
  • ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the sauce

  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 150ml double cream
Notes on Chai Masala spices:
  • If using whole spices. Infuse your cream with the following spices and tea. Bring the cream to the boil in a sauce pan, add the spices then turn off and let the flavours develop for 30 minutes. Strain the spices and tea out.
    5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
    3 whole cloves
    1 star anise
    5 white peppercorns (optional)
    A couple of slices of fresh ginger
    1 cinnamon stick
    1–2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea (or 1–2 tea bags – everyday British tea bags like Yorkshire tea are made from black tea)

    If using ground spices then add a combination of ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander, ginger & white pepper. Nutmeg can also be lovely. And of course the tea bags! Infuse into the cream as above then remove the teabag.


Making the pudding

  1. Preheat the oven to 165c.
  2. Put the chopped dates in bowl and add the boiling water, vanilla, coffee and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the beaten eggs one at a time then fold in the flour.
  4. Add the date mixture to make a very runny mixture.
  5. Pour into 8 dariole moulds which you have lightly greased. Put the darioles on a baking tray and bake for 25 mins. NOTE. You can make this as a cake which you then slice into portions. It works well in a 20cm square tin, again greased before adding the cake mix.
  6. Cool for a couple of minutes then turn out onto shallow tray then distribute between 8 heated bowls.
  7. To make the sauce, infuse your cream with the spices as per the instructions in the ingredients list. One infused, combine the cream with the butter and sugar in a pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved, then spoon over puddings.
  8. Serve with an extra light drizzle of double cream.


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