Some time last year (my apologies the exact time eludes me, there have been A LOT of recipes between now & then) I began a series I fondly titled ‘Cleaning Up The Classics’.
Now to be honest I could probably umbrella a good 50% of my creations under this as my ongoing inspiration is to provide healthful re-vamps of the dishes we love so they fit snugly into a health/nutrition conscious lifestyle with no need to feel we have to avoid anything we enjoy.
So yes as this introduction would suggest today’s recipe is exactly that, & as the words ‘Sticky Toffee Pudding’ tumble from my lips I’m sure MANY of you will feel your tastebuds stand to attention as most of us will have some form of emotive memory of this sweet, spongy dessert.
To be entirely honest I was actually overwhelmed with how well this turned out, so much so in fact I found myself eating a good 3 slices just to confirm it really did taste as good as I thought! I also need to thank the wonderful Oppo Bros (I have spoken about them before here) as it was their suggestion of a cosy wintry dish using their products that sparked my culinary creativity, so cheers to them & I hope you all enjoy this as much as me & my taste testers have!
Preheat your oven to 170C, line a loaf tin with baking parchment & place a tea towel in a large casserole dish/roasting pan then pop your tin in the middle.
Add the 200g of dates to a large bowl, pour over the boiling water & leave to sit for 10 minutes.
Add the apple pieces (no need to peel) to a high speed blender, puréeing until smooth, then add the dates & their soaking liquid & blend again (if your blender isn’t big enough simply do this in a couple of batches).
Measure your dry ingredients into another bowl & make a well in the centre. Add the apple & date mixture, coconut oil & eggs. Mix well to combine then fold through your remaining 50g of sliced dates.
Spoon into your prepared tin then transfer your casserole dish to the oven. Once on the shelf pour boiling water into the dish so it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the tin & bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer/sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Carefully lift the whole thing out of the oven & remove the cake tin from the dish. Leave to cool for 15 minutes then remove from the tin, leaving on a wire rack to go cold.
To make the caramel sauce add the water & sugar to a small pan, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Heat gently & leave to bubble for 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Add the ice cream & stir through until melted. Decant to a jar or bowl & pop into the fridge to cool for 30 minutes (or up to 3 days if you want to prepare it in advance or keep it for a later date – you could also freeze it if you wish).
Cut generous slices of cake & pour over your sauce, you can even add an extra scoop of ice cream if you fancy!