A lovely warming lower-fat sticky toffee pudding made with sweet dates. I won a Made in Chelsea, Come Dine With Me-style charity dinner as a result of serving this showstopping pud to my fellow Chelsea companions! These tasty puddings are best served straight from the oven.
10g unsalted butter
180g dried dates, stones removed
175ml boiling water
200ml maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
100g self-raising flour
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½ and lightly grease the insides of four ramekins with the butter.
2. Place the dates in a small saucepan and cover with the boiling water.
3. Put over a medium heat and bring the water back up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the dates for 5–6 minutes until they have softened and rehydrated.
4. Remove from the heat and drain the dates before putting them into a food processor along with half the maple syrup and the vanilla extract.
5. Blitz until they are smooth. You may need to scrape the sides down a couple of times to help it.
6. Use a spatula to transfer the dates to a mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks to the dates and use an electric whisk to beat them in, then add the flour and beat it in quickly to mix.
7. Clean and dry your beaters well and then, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are at stiff peak stage. Fold them into the date mixture, using a large metal spoon and being careful not to squash out all the air.
8. Divide the remaining maple syrup between the four ramekins and then add the date mixture. Cover each one with some lightly greased foil and bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes.
9. If using a vanilla pod, cut in half and scrape out the seeds. Mix the seeds (or vanilla bean paste if using) into the Greek yoghurt and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
10. Turn each pudding out onto a plate and top with a tablespoon of vanilla yoghurt.
Recipe from Live Well With Louise by Louise Thompson, £13.29, Hodder & Stoughton.