Serves 12

545 calories per serving

  • A little butter or oil, for greasing
  • 350g pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 250ml dark rum
  • 300ml water
  • 170g vegetable suet
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the coconut caramel

  • 3 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 100g light muscovado sugar

To finish

  • 30g coconut flakes, toasted

Sticky Date Pudding with Coconut Caramel

I’m not going to pretend that this is healthy! It’s a luxurious version of sticky toffee pudding, using coconut milk for the caramel sauce. It’s about getting into the kitchen and making something to share with others… and they’ll certainly thank you for it.

  1. Grease a 30 x 25cm baking tin, at least 5cm deep, and line with baking parchment.
  2. Put the dates into a heatproof bowl. In a small pan, bring the rum and water to the boil, then pour over the dates. Stir, then cover and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5.
  3. Put the suet and sugar into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mixed spice to the bowl then sift over the flour and bicarbonate of soda; fold into the mixture until nearly combined. Add the dates with their liquor and mix to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging.
  5. Meanwhile, to prepare the caramel, tip the coconut milk into a heavy-based non-stick saucepan and whisk until smooth. Bring to the boil over a high heat and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes until reduced and starting to thicken. Sprinkle in the sugar and whisk well. (Reheat before serving if necessary.)
  6. Once the pudding is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm, trickled with hot coconut caramel and sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes.