Date Bread and Butter Pudding
with Boozy Toffee Sauce
4 tablespoons butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
10 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed
7 ounces (about 1 cup) pitted dates, chopped
1 1/2 cups cream
2/3 cup milk
3 ounces (about 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar, preferably superfine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar, for sprinkling
Boozy Toffee Sauce
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup cream
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup sweet sherry
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the bread, leaving 4 slices whole and cutting the remaining 6 slices in
half to make triangles.
Grease the sides and base of an 8-inch square baking dish.
Place the 4 whole slices of bread buttered side up on the base of the ovenproof
dish, then sprinkle the chopped dates over the top.
Arrange the triangles of bread
buttered side up on top to cover the dates.
Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan almost to the boil.
While it heats up,
whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl, then slowly pour
the hot milk and cream on top, whisking as you pour. Pour this custard over the
bread and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle brown sugar over bread.
Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan and carefully pour enough hot water
into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden and the center just set.
Serve with sauce and whipped cream.
To make sauce: Place the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan and bring to a
boil, stirring all the time. Boil for 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool for 1 minute, then add the brandy and