Serves 4

Prep time 2 hours

Ingredients for the sponge

Dates, 175g, chopped
Bicarbonate of soda, 1 rounded tsp
Salted butter, 50g
Demerara sugar, 75g
Muscovado sugar, 75g
Free-range eggs, 2
Self-raising flour, 175g
Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Butter, for greasing
Pinch of salt

For the carob toffee sauce

Double cream, 250ml
Butter, 100g
Molasses sugar, 100g
Carob syrup, 100g
Extra double cream or vanilla ice cream to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Pour 275ml boiling water into a large mixing bowl and add the dates. Stir and set aside until lukewarm. Meanwhile, measure out all the other ingredients for the sponge. Add them to the dates and water and mix together until well combined.

Blend the date mixture in a food processor until nearly smooth, but with a few specks of date still visible. Generously butter a baking dish on all surfaces and pour in the sponge batter. Bake for 40 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the ingredients gently in a pan, whisking regularly, until they briefly boil. Pour the topping over the cooked pudding.
To serve, spoon the pudding into individual bowls and pour around the extra sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream