I've been making this for a few years now, its a classic but I have made quite a few alterations over the years, anyway, here we go.
This makes a large tray of between 15-25 portions (I'm used to restaurant quantities, it can easily be downsized)
-750ml boiling water
-550g pitted dates
-500g strong white bread flour
-500g dark brown sugar (the darker the better)
-3tsp bicarbonate of soda
-2 vanilla pods
-8 medium eggs
-180g unsalted butter
For Butterscotch sauce
-700ml double cream
-250g unsalted butter
-200g dark brown sugar.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. You'll need a tray about 6-10cm deep and about 40cm x 30cm. Butter/grease this tray and dust with flour.
To start, pour the boiling water over the dates and leave to rest for 30mins, when softned place water and dates in a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.
Combine the sugar and the flour and the bicarb. of soda in a large bowl. Place 180g unsalted butter in a saucepan and melt on a stove top, in a separate bowl combine 8 eggs and pour in melted butter and add the seeds from 2 vanilla pods (discard pods or add to some sugar to infuse for a separate project).
Whisk and combine the wet ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients, using a paddle or wooden spoon combine these to make the Sticky Toffe Pudding dough.
Scape all the dough into the prepared tray and place in the centre of the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The pudding will be ready when a skewer or small knife, inserted into the middle, comes out clean. It may need another 5 minutes.
While the pudding is baking make the butterscotch sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
When the pudding is ready, use a fork to prick all over and pour 2/3 of the butterscotch sauce over the pudding.
Cut and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream of choice (I make my own, recipe at the bottom, but you need an ice cream machine) and use the remaining 1/3 butterscotch sauce to pour over this.
Alternatively it can be kept up to 3 days and reheated in separate portion sizes with butterscotch sauce (3-5 mins at 180ºC)
Vanilla Ice cream
1l Double cream
1l Full Fat Milk
8 Large egg yolks
400g castor suger
2 vanilla pods
Combine the cream and milk, split the vanilla pods down the middle, add to the cream and milk, place on heat and simmer for 30mins.
Whisk the yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, then pass the hot milk mix through a sieve (to remove pods but not seeds) and whisk the thin custard until thoroughly combined.
Chill in fridge and then churn until you have a desired ice cream texture.