Sticky chocolate pudding cake

An chocolate lovers delight with pecans and dates.

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes
  • Total time: 80 minutes plus cooling 60 minutes 20 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • Chocolate toffee sauce
  • 300ml essential Waitrose double cream
  • 175g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain chocolate, chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 180g medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 50ml marsala
  • 150g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g plain chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g pecan nut halves, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c, gas mark 4. Butter the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Place the dates, marsala and 125ml boiling water in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, whisking well between each addition. Mix in the date mixture, melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Sift over the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt, then stir in with 50g pecans.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spread level and bake for 40–45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  4. For the sauce, heat the cream, sugar, vanilla extract and butter over a low-medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth.
  5. Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully pour roughly one third of the sauce over the top. Scatter with the remaining pecans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Reheat the remaining sauce.
  6. Cut the cake into squares and serve with the remaining sauce and perhaps some vanilla ice cream.