1 cup dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
Zest of half an orange
For the sticky toffee sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9 by 13 baking dish.
Combine the dates and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Allow liquid to cool and puree the date mixture with its liquid in a blender or food processor. Reserve.
Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth at medium-high speed. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined. Add molasses and mix until incorporated. Lower the speed and slowly add flour mixture in three parts. Stir in date puree and orange zest.
Transfer batter to prepared dish and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sticky toffee sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan. Slowly add cream and dark brown sugar, whisking until mixture comes to a gentle boil and forms a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Remove pudding from the oven and immediately poke holes in the pudding every inch or so using a skewer or chopstick. Pour three quarters of the sauce over the cake and allow it to soak in for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of extra sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.