Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding

I will admit that I don't know what a proper English sticky toffee pudding tastes like. I've had a couple here in Canada and I've been to London a few times, but I've never had sticky toffee pudding in England. 

While I've never had a traditional sticky toffee pudding, I know this is not it, mainly because of the addition of chocolate. It's a twist on the original. But still very tasty. 

The rich sweetness from the dates goes very well with the hint of spices. The cocoa powder is not very powerful at all, so don't go thinking this is mainly chocolate (rare for this blog, I know!). 

This is a very simple dessert and comes together in a short time. Soak the dates, cream the butter, add wet ingredients, add dry ingredients, add dates, bake! While they're baking, make the sauce - once again, easy peasy. Put everything in a saucepan and heat until it's all melted together and pour over the puddings. Truly a lazy persons dessert.

Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding
Recipe from Chococo

2 cups dried pitted dates, preferably Medjool or halawi, chopped
1 cup freshly brewed black tea (English Breakfast or Orange Pekoe would be best)
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
dash of ground cloves

1 cup heavy cream
6 1/2 tablespoons (92 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

Half the dates, remove the pits, and chop them up. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the baking soda over them. Add the freshly brewed tea and stir to combine. Let the dates soak for at least 20 minutes, preferably 40.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and spices into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Add the dates and any remaining juices and mix until combined. 

Line a muffin tray with muffin cups. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

While the puddings are baking, make the sauce. Throw the cream, butter, sugar, and chocolate into a saucepan. Over low heat, melt everything together while stirring often. When everything has melted, pour into a container. 

While the puddings are still warm, poke the top of the puddings with a toothpick and drizzle the sauce generously over the top. Serve them as they are or with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream