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Be inspired every day with Living North
Extracted from  The Little Book of Vegan Bakes by Holly Jade  (Ebury Press, £20)
February 2022
Reading time 1 Minute

The best way to finish off a meal. My recipe has lots of ingredients you’d expect to see in a traditional sticky toffee pudding, with added spices for warmth

Drench it in my rich caramel sauce and get stuck in!
  • For the sponge
  • 150g dates, de-stoned
  • 480ml dairy-free milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 425g self-raising flour
  • 440g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 245g caramel sauce
  • For the caramel sauce
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 60g dairy-free cream
  • 60ml dairy-free milk
  1. To make the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a deep 23cm square tin with greaseproof paper. Place the de-stoned dates in a bowl of hot water and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Once soaked, drain them and then place them in a food processor or a blender and whizz up until soft and paste-like. Then, set aside. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk the milk with the apple cider vinegar until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle – this creates a vegan buttermilk. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well to combine. 
  3. Add the oil to the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture and the treacle to the dry ingredients and mix. Fold in the dates. 
  4. Pour the batter into the lined tin. Make sure to tap the tin on the worktop to remove any air bubbles. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 28–30 minutes. You will know it’s done when it is springy to the touch and a knife or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack while you make the caramel sauce.
  5. To make the caramel sauce, get all your ingredients ready before you start. Place the caster sugar into a medium-sized pan over a low–medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk for five to eight minutes until the sugar melts. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
  6. When the sugar has completely melted and is golden, turn off the heat. Leave for a few seconds, then carefully add the cream and immediately stir vigorously. It will steam and bubble, but keep stirring. 
  7. When the caramel starts to cool down, stir in the milk. Place the pan back over a low–medium heat and bring it back to the boil. It will begin to bubble – keep stirring for another one to two minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a heatproof container. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before serving, then drizzle over the sponge and enjoy. 
  8. Store any leftover sponge in a sealed container in the fridge. Best enjoyed within a few days. You can store the leftover caramel sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Holly’s Tip: This makes a great second-day pudding – eat cold or warm it up in the oven or microwave.

Extracted from The Little Book of Vegan Bakes by Holly Jade (Ebury Press, £20)

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