200g dried dates, stoned and chopped
250ml black tea, not too strong
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Ovaltine
200g light muscovado sugar
300ml double cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C conventional / 160°C fan.
Line and grease a baking tin / oven proof dish.
2. Put the dates and tea in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the dates and then stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
3. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until light and creamy.
Beat in the eggs, then flour, then spices and Ovaltine.
Fold in the date mixture.
4. Pour into prepared tin / dish.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch.
A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting all 3 ingredients in a small saucepan.
Put over a low heat and simmer.
Stir regularly. Cook until the sauce is a lovely toffee colour.
Check by tasting to see that all the sugar has dissolved. The sauce should be smooth and not gritty.
6. Remove the pudding from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
7. Serve pudding with warm toffee sauce / custard / ice cream.