Nothing, I repeat, nothing symbolises the warm embrace of winter comfort more than a sticky toffee pudding. There are a host of delicious sweet, baked goods to be had, but these puddings put most of them in the shade. This particular recipe is right up there with the best and a feat of allergen-free engineering
50g sunflower spread (or dairy Butter)
175g pitted dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml boiling water
175g caster sugar
2 heaped teaspoons egg replacer (or 2 eggs)
175g gluten free self-raising flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For Toffee Sauce
100g Sunflower Spread (or Butter)
150g soft light brown sugar
125ml oat cream (or dairy cream)
Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas mark 4 and lightly grease the pudding tins.
Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a bowl. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda, pour over the boiling water and leave to stand.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar gently with a wooden spoon and then add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after addition.
Sift in the flour and xanthan gum and gently fold in, then stir in the date mixture (liquid and all) and vanilla extract until fully amalgamated and forming a thick batter.
Pour into the individual tins (the mixture should come to just under the rim of each mould), place on baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through - a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of each pudding should come out clean.
While the puddings are cooking, make the toffee sauce. Melt the butter with the sugar in a small saucepan, stirring continuously over a medium heat until smooth and glossy. Pour in the cream and bring to a very gentle simmer, then heat the mixture through for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then to ensure the cream doesn't curdle.
Once the puddings are cooked, remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes in their tins. Run a sharp knife around the outside edge of each pudding to help loosen it in the mould and carefully tip out onto a serving plate. Pour a portion of the toffee sauce over the pudding and serve white hot.