Sticky toffee pear pudding 2016

Sticky toffee pear pudding

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 50 mins

More effort

Serves 8

A lighter version of sticky toffee pudding, rich with dates and spices, and the juicy texture of poached pears, this vegan dessert is sure to please a crowd

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal646
  • fat27g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs94g
  • sugars75g
  • fibre6g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.9g
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Ingredients

  • 8 small firm pears (we used Conference)
    Pear

    Pear

    pair

    Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 6 cloves
    Cloves

    Clove

    klo-ve

    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 1 lemon, zest pared
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 orange, zest pared
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • vegan ice cream, to serve (optional)

For the sponge

  • 250g pitted dates
    Dates

    Date

    da-ate

    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 2 tbsp linseeds
  • 300ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice

Method

  1. Peel the pears and cut the bottom off each to give a flat base – cut them to a height that will fit snugly in your tin. Use a melon baller or small knife to cut out the pips from the base. Roughly chop the pear scraps, discarding the pips, and set aside. Tip the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, zests and 600ml water into a saucepan large enough to fit all the pears. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears, cover with a lid or a piece of baking parchment, and poach gently for 15 mins until a knife easily slides into a pear. Leave to cool in the liquid.

  2. Now make the sponge. Put the dates and linseeds in a saucepan and add the almond milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 2-3 mins until the dates are soft. Pour into a food processer and blitz until smooth. Add the oil and blend again, then scrape into a bowl and set aside to cool a little. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin (a loose -bottomed one if possible) with a strip of baking parchment.

  3. Put the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with 1/ 2 tsp salt. Mix well, breaking up any lumps of sugar with your fingers, and shaking the bowl a few times to encourage any remaining lumps to come to the surface. Add the date and oil mixture, and stir well. Fold in the chopped pear scraps. Scrape the cake mixture into the tin, then nestle in the pears, standing straight up, so that the bottom halves are covered. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cake is cooked through. Insert a skewer to the centre to check – it should come out clean. If there is any wet cake mixture on the skewer, return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 mins more, then check again.

  4. Meanwhile, bring the pear poaching liquid back to the boil and simmer until reduced to a glossy syrup. When the pudding is cooked, cool for 5-10 mins, then brush all over with the syrup, saving a little extra to serve alongside, with vegan ice cream, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (1)

Gill87's picture
5

I was dubious about this recipe firstly because of the poached pears - would their juices prevent the sponge from cooking properly? And secondly because of the linseed - their taste I'm not fond of. I'm terrible at following recipes, always thinking I know better. I was tempted to leave the linseed out hoping the dates would be enough to bind the mix. But I followed the recipe to the letter and I am not disappointed. The sponge cooked: No sogginess from the pears. And no unpleasant taste or texture of linseed discernible. I will definitely be adding this to my repertoire. A delicious, moist cake. Simple to make and vegan too. Fab.

Questions (1)

whispertoamy's picture

Any advice for making this ahead? Sounds great but too much work to do immediately before serving!

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