Recipe for a decadent Sticky Toffee Pudding with a pecan cookie crumble topping

250g medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
250ml (1 cup) boiling water
100g butter, at room temperature
160g (2/3 cup) golden castor sugar
3 eggs (xl)
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Toffee sauce:
250g demerara sugar
80g butter
325ml (1 1/3 cup) fresh cream
5ml (1 tsp) caramel essence
a generous pinch of sea salt flakes

Pecan cookie crumble topping:
75g (1/2 cup) cake wheat flour
pinch of salt
30ml (2 tablespoons) castor sugar
45g (3 tablespoons) butter
50g (1/2 cup) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
15ml (1 tablespoon) cold water

How to
Preheat the oven to 170º C. Grease a 2 litre baking dish with butter.

Place the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a heatproof bowl. Pour the water over and mix to combine. Set aside to soften for about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and the soaking water to a blender and blitz until smooth.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the vanilla and date mixture to the butter and mix to combine. Sift in the flour and salt and beat on a low speed until the batter is smooth. Scrape into the baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes.

For the toffee sauce, place the sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce on a medium high heat until the sauce is slightly thickened and turns a caramel colour, about 8-10 minutes.

While the pudding is still hot from the oven, poke multiple holes all over the top. Ladle the sauce slowly over the pudding.

For the cookie crumble, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and rub through until breadcrumb stage. Add the pecan nuts and water and mix together to form rubble-like clumps. Spread the cookie crumbs onto and baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Turn the mixture over once halfway through to ensure even browning.

Scatter the cookie crumble over the warm pudding and serve with a good vanilla ice cream.


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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email