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Karen's Bake off Challenge Week 4: Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you like washing up then this is the recipe for you! I was a little trepidatious when I saw the latest challenge and decided to leave out the tuiles to make life a bit simpler for myself. I was sure I could veganise it simply, which was the case, but it required lots of separate elements to come together at once. Luckily, everything worked out and, once again, Bake Off has provided me with another fab recipe to share with the family.


For the toffee sauce: 100g caster sugar (I used brown sugar) 100ml double cream (I used 25ml of soya milk) 50g unsalted butter (I used vegan butter) ½ tsp vanilla extract

In the toffee sauce I switched the double cream for a small amount of soya milk. I have made toffee sauce before with soya milk and this swap worked very well.

For the puddings: 115g soft pitted dates, roughly chopped 140ml boiling water ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 45g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (I used vegan margarine) 45g caster sugar 45g dark muscovado sugar 1 large egg (I used 1/4 cup mashed ripe banana) 100g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

I toyed with the idea of apple puree as a substitute for the egg but in the end went with mashed banana. They are great to replace eggs in cakes, muffins and puddings. Unlike other substitutes they can add their flavour to your recipe but in this case that was a bonus. These became 'sticky banoffee puddings'! I find a quarter cup of mashed banana (about half a small banana) replaces one egg in a recipe.

For the crème Anglaise: 150ml whole milk 150ml double cream ½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out 4 large egg yolks 30g caster sugar

Whilst all of these ingredients have vegan swaps, I looked up crème Anglaise and discovered it really is just custard! For this I decided to use a tried and tested recipe from Minimalist Bakers which I halved. Here is the link: How to Make Vegan Custard | The Minimalist Vegan

So for my crème Anglaise:

250ml plant milk

1 tablespoons corn flour

50g raw granulated sugar

60g coconut cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of teaspoon turmeric (for colour)


There were quite a few swaps here but the method for all except the crème Anglaise was the same.

-For the crème Anglaise

The process was a simple one. Heat up half of the plant milk on a medium heat in a saucepan and whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl. When the milk in the pan has started to simmer add in the whisked custard ingredients and heat for 5 more minutes until it starts to thicken. Keep cooking and whisking till it is the consistency that you want.

Apologies for the pictures, it was a very steamy kitchen and these dark evenings meant the light was terrible.

Tips based on my experience

- My pudding containers were small silicone ones and they were frustrating to use. Instead of holding a round shape they seemed to always want to settle back into a kind of ellipse shape. They also held only 100ml where the recipe calls for 175ml containers. I expected them to bake in a much shorter time but in actual fact they still took the full 20 mins.

- I also didn't have the silicone mat but just sat them in a silicone brownie dish instead.

- My crème Anglaise was very thick. Delicious but thick so I would perhaps use a little less corn flour. Maybe a generous 1/2 a tablespoon.

- The use of banana instead of egg did add banana to the flavour but as we all know, banana and toffee are a great combination.

- A possible alternative would be to use apple sauce and perhaps add some spices like ginger and cinnamon to the recipe. Yummy!

- Looking back at the Bake Off recipe I think I would get points deducted for presentation but you only spend a few moments looking at it before you dive in with your spoon anyway!

In conclusion

These were sampled by myself and my husband Simon who I can quote as saying they were 'delicious' and 'the nicest ever!' They really were good! It has been such a long time since I've had a sticky toffee pudding. A lot of the free from versions are free from dairy or gluten but often still contain egg. I will definitely make this again, perhaps when I have our parents over. They'd love it!

Speaking of our parents, unfortunately as these are served hot I was unable to share them with my work colleagues and family who have helped by sampling my efforts these last few weeks...on the other hand, this meant that we got to keep these treats all to ourselves!

I hope you have enjoyed reading and that this has inspired others to take on the challenge too!


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