30g / 1oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
100g / 3 ½ oz dried pitted dates, chopped
150ml / ¼ pint water
85g / 3 ¼ oz demerara sugar
½ tbsp. golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 large egg
1⁄2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
100g / 3 ½ oz self-raising flour
½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda
Salted toffee sauce
75g / 3oz light muscovado sugar
100g / 3 ½ oz golden syrup
100g / 3 ½ oz butter
150ml / ¼ pint double cream
1 tbsp black treacle
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp of sea salt flakes
2 sharp eating apples (we use coxes)
Little lemon juice
30g / 1oz butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
Crème fraiche, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/fan 160/ gas 4. Grease & flour 6 x 150ml bundt tins (we used a mini 6 hole bundt tin), or use a muffin tin, dariole moulds, ramekins or mini loaf tins.
Put the dates in a small pan with the water and gently bring to the boil. Whisk butter and sugar together, then slowly add golden syrup, treacle, egg and vanilla. Sieve over the flour with a pinch of salt and fold in. Whizz the dates with a hand blender adding the bicarbonate of soda, scraping down the sides, until you have a thick paste. While still hot add this to the egg mix and stir to combine.
Divide evenly between your moulds (they should be no more than three-quarters full) and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until well-risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
To make the sauce place the butter, syrup and sugar in a pan with half the cream. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the black treacle, then turn the heat up a little and let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining cream, sea salt flakes and lemon juice to taste.
Peel, core and dice the apples into even sized pieces and toss in a little lemon juice to stop any discolouration. Melt the butter in a small frying pan and fry apples until they are golden and starting to soften. Add golden syrup and stir through.
Leave the puddings to cool in the moulds for a few minutes, then turn out and serve warm with the toffee sauce, sticky apples and spoonful’s of crème fraîche.
To get ahead:The puddings and sauce can be made a day ahead and covered with foil to reheat when needed.
To freeze:The puddings and sauce can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.