Nigella Lawson’s Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

I usually shy away from ‘cheats’ versions of recipes. Easy doesn’t always mean better and for me, easy isn’t necessarily a drawcard. I like the process of cooking and don’t mind if something takes a bit of time or complexity. Usually I figure if something is worth making, it’s worth making properly and a cheat version won’t even come close. This recipe breaks that rule for me.

Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding

I came to Nigella Lawson’s Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding about a decade ago, before I’d ever had a real Sticky Toffee Pudding, so for about ten years I thought this was how it you made it. Recently, I made Stephanie Alexander’s version which is, as far as I can tell, the real thing and I do think the two can sit side by side as great puddings. Nigella’s is, as her recipes often are, an interpretation.

It’s more of a self saucing version – an entirely valid kind of pudding which can exist in its own right. And so it’s only really a cheats version if you think there’s only one way to make a Sticky Toffee Pudding.

It’s put together in ten minutes or less – the most time consuming part is chopping up the dates. Interesting, Nigella skips what many recipes do which is to soak the dates in bi-carb and boiling water, presumably to soften them. I’m not sure why it needs to be done since by the time Nigella’s version is cooked, the dates are so soft that they’ve almost broken down entirely. I’ll probably skip that step in future less cheating recipes.

It’s all combined in a bowl, poured into a pudding basin of some description and baked for about 45 minutes. The self saucing pudding part comes in when you liberally sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the pudding, add a knobs of butter and then add 500ml of boiling water. Into the oven it goes and 45 mins later it comes out bubbling and crusty all at the same time. You know it’s ready when the sauce is bubbling around the edges, the top is crusty and the pudding feels spongy in the middle when you press on it.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Serving

So for ten years this has been my go-to pudding recipe. It dates back to my earliest infatuation with Nigella. It’s in her book, Nigella Bites but also on her website. It’s the single most happy-making dessert I can serve up to my husband and it’s pretty hard to fault in terms of ease and result.

One slight modification – I don’t put 200g of brown sugar on top. I did once and it was entirely over the top. 100g or even less will suffice. You still get loads of sauce.

And yes, you’ve probably noticed we’re veering off the Food Safari path now and then – that’s because we both realised we love showing each other and our readers the other things we’ve made. Some recipes just have to be shared.



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose Red
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 18:11:57

    mmmmm, now I want one!! but no dates…might have to make my go-to pudding – self-saucing chocolate pudding (from Stephanie Alexander – what a lovely pudding-y woman she is!)


  2. 2paw
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 19:53:01

    Nigella: over the top?? Surely you jest?!! It looks delicious and I love a quick recipe for the times when there’s a pudding emergency!!


  3. Delly
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 10:41:29

    Pudding emergency!! Love it!!! Now I know what to call those times in my house when we absolutely need to have something sweet! Love this recipe Bells. I have got to make it as a matter of urgency!!!


  4. drk
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 08:53:39

    yum yum yum, you know that stephanie alexander one has become my go-to dessert this winter. amazing. this one looks just as good. i wish theyd call it sticky date pudding though!


  5. David Hilyard
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 01:46:56

    I know what you mean about doing it the ‘hard’ (non-cheat) way, because so often that’s how you learn sound technique. Which can get you through many a pudergency.

    But Nigella can also have a lot of good ideas. I picked up her tip for making bernaise sauce (about as fundamental in DavidWorld as breathing), and I have been doing it so long, it has become the way of doing it – so much so that I don’t actually remember what the shortcut she had was …

    Once I get an oven, I’ll haave to try this pud!


  6. David Hilyard
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 06:55:09

    Now I’ve got an oven, so only need an excuse – i. e. person (victim!) to make this for …


  7. Zumba Lisa Burnie
    May 18, 2012 @ 14:59:14

    Eating it right now, yummm, although my stupid oven has a mind of its own and has practically burnt around the edges – 35-40 mins cooking time for me next time!


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