starting point was Mary Berry’s recipe, then modified for Canadian ingredients.

Batter

90g butter, softened

150g dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbspn coffee liqueur

175g all purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

175g stoned dates, chopped

90g  chopped walnuts

175ml hot water

Toffee sauce (an essential part of the pudding)

125g butter

175g dark brown sugar

6 tbsp whipping (35%) cream

60g walnuts chopped finely

Method

A few hours before, or the previous night, add the hot water to the chopped dates so they are well softened before the cake is made. When the time comes to add them to the cake, heat the mixture in the microwave.

Line 7-inch square deep tin with baking parchment. Set oven to 325F, fan (Truconv).

Incorporate baking powder into flour. Put butter, sugar, eggs, coffee liqueur and flour into large bowl (of mixer). Beat well until thoroughly blended.

Stir in dates with hot water and walnuts. Pour into prepared cake tin.

Bake at 325F (Tru Convection) 35 to 40 minutes until pudding is just cooked – no mixture adheres to skewer inserted. Pierce top of cake with skewer and turn off oven heat.

About 10 minutes before pudding is ready, start making the sauce: put butter and sugar into a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until sugar is dissolved (sauce looks thick but sugar no longer grainy). Stir in cream and pour some sauce over the cake before returning it to the oven for about 10 minutes. Add walnuts to remaining sauce and heat gently before serving.

Cut pudding into nine squares and transfer to serving plates. Spoon over toffee sauce and serve at once with vanilla icecream.