James Martin fights for Sticky Toffee Pudding

Is this the most popular recipe ever shown on TV?

James Martin’s sticky toffee pudding


James' sticky toffee pudding


The web has been buzzing after James Martin won over Scarborough Hospital’s Catering Manager, Pat – and she allowed him to put this pudding on their menu – much to the delight of patients.

However, it wasn’t without a fight between the two of them (all friendly – I think!)  James said the pudding had to be made with butter (first problem), then Pat said the sauce wasn’t thick enough,  so James said it would have to be made with double instead of single cream – and twice the calories.  Eventually it was made with single cream, which wasn’t thick enough for Pat but the patients approved!

We still haven’t been able to get the authentic recipe out of anyone, probably because I suspect there is going to be a cookbook somewhere – but will let everyone know if I get it.  Meanwhile I did ‘tweak’ a couple of recipes. I did try to get permission to quote them;   so if you like it copy it quickly before I get chucked in jail!


55g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
2 free-range eggs
200g/7oz self-raising flour, plus extra for flouring
200g/7oz pitted dates
290ml/10fl oz boiling water
For the sauce

This is James’ recipe off the BBC website – but for the hospital he used single cream, and cut out the ice cream.

Also, I was up at Cartmel which Cumbrians say is ‘home’ of this pudding, although there is dispute over its origins but Cumbria and the Lake District seem to have the strongest case to claim its birth.
If you like, you can use chopped dates instead of pureeing them – it’s up to you.  If’ using chopped dates, try flouring them to make sure they don’t all drop to the bottom.
To make
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Grease and flour 6 individual pudding moulds.   Or use one large one for family, but you may have to increase cooking time.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the golden syrup, treacle and eggs, a little at a time, and blend until smooth. Add the flour and blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, chop dates or blend with boiling water in a food processor to a smooth purée. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla.

Pour the date mixture into the pudding batter and stir until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is springy and golden-brown.

To make the sauce, heat all of the ingredients in a pan, stirring occasionally, until boiling.

To serve, remove the puddings from the moulds, pour over the sauce and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


And if visiting someone in hospital, you could make lots of friends by making one each for other patients in ward, plus enough for staff, and asking Sister if you can use the ward microwave to heat up.

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One thought on “James Martin fights for Sticky Toffee Pudding

  1. Vivienne DuBourdieu September 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm Reply

    You could also use date syrup. Wonderful invention. Fully approve of food being delicious. The psychological benefits surely outweigh the potential cholesterol count. Besides, so many Cancer patients can’t be persuaded to eat… !

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