>Steamed sticky toffee pudding

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This is the sort of pudding that had me falling in love with British baking traditions: Simple, heart-warming and bursting with flavours. Perfect after a bracing walk round the Wetland Center in Barnes – where I took this reeds picture.

Ingredients list:

3 tbsp of golden syrup (or marmelade)

Self-raising flour 175g

Bicarbonate or baking powder 1 small spoonful

Butter175g

3 large eggs

Demerara sugar 175g

Treacle 1tbsp

(optional : 5 dates soaked in warm water with a drop of vanilla extract or a tbsp of ground ginger)

Sauce :

Golden syrup

Crème fraîche or double cream

Vanilla extract

Butter 1 tbsp

Prepare a pan of boiling water or an electric steamer.

Mix in the food processor: The flour, raising powder, soft butter, whole eggs, sugar and treacle. Scooping out the treacle with a hot spoon, dipped in boiling water, makes it very easy. Add the dates and vanilla or the ginger, if you choose.

Take a ceramic pudding bowl and smear generously with butter. Pour the golden syrup in the bottom. Add the mix. Level with a spoon and cover tightly with foil.

Put in your steamer or in a pan one third full of boiling water for at least two hours- not omitting to check the water level regularly!

Make the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a small pan and heating through. Keep an eye on it until it achieves a nice golden toffee colour.

Take the pudding out and serve hot with a scoop of ice-cream – if you must…

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