This traditional British dessert combines rich, buttery cake with a decadent toffee sauce.
A 9-inch round cake pan can be used instead of ramekins; increase the baking time to 45 minutes.
Make Ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered tightly and refrigerated. Reheat gently in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- For the pudding
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature, plus more for the ramekins
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 9 ounces dates, preferably Medjool
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
- For the sauce
- 2 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
For the pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 8-ounce (1-cup) ramekins.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Coarsely chop the dates, discarding the pits. Combine the dates and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, adjusting the heat so the water is boiling slowly. Transfer the dates and water to a food processor and process to form a smooth puree.
Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs, beating until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated. Add the date puree a little at a time, beating to combine.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins. Bake just until a cake tester comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer the puddings to a rack to cool to room temperature.
For the sauce: Combine the cream, sugar and corn syrup in a deep medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes; if you want a thick sauce, boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter until it has melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, but keep it in a warm place while the puddings are cooling.
Serve the puddings at room temperature and pass the warm sauce on the side.
Adapted from White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses.
Tested by Amy Kim and Jane Touzalin.
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