Preheat the oven 170C. To make one big pudding grease a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish if making 2 puddings grease two 1 litre ovenproof dishes.
Chop the dates and put them into a mixing bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with the boiling water. Set to one side for 15 minutes while you make the batter.
In a separate mixing bowl add the butter and sugar, use an electric mixer or wooden spoon to mix until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the black treacle.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the batter. Then mix through the milk.
Check on the dates, mash them with a fork then pour the dates and liquid into the cake batter, stir in to combine. Spoon into the prepared dish or dishes.
The big pudding will cook for approximately 45-50 minutes. The smaller puddings will cook in 25-30 minutes.
While the pudding cooks make the toffee sauce. Put the sugar, butter and half the cream in on a low heat in a heavy bottom pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar, this will take about 5 minutes.
When the sugar has dissolved add in the black treacle and turn up the heat to a bubble. Let it bubble for 2-3 minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream. You should have a nice brown toffee sauce. Transfer into a pouring jug.
When the pudding comes out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes then poke it with a skewer and pour over some of the toffee sauce (half the sauce if making a big pudding and quarter each if making 2 smaller puddings)
Serve the pudding warm with ice cream and warm toffee sauce.
You can cover and freeze the second pudding. Just defrost in the fridge overnight, warm through in the oven and serve as above.
We know this recipe off by heart. It turns out perfectly every time with a sweet and tangy fruity bottom and a soft and tender sponge top. It’s the perfect pudding served warm with custard, cream or ice cream or served cold in slices with a cup of tea. This is our favourite low waste cake recipe because it’s the easiest and most delicious way to use up both the aquafaba from a tin of chickpeas (which is usually discarded) and apples, or any excess fruit really! We just often end up with too many apples in our fruit bowl, and so, before they go bad, I like to chop them up and put them in boxes or jars in the freezer, so useful for quick cakes and crumbles. We do the same thing with berries, pears and bananas (for smoothies and banana bread). Let me know if you give this simple cake a try.
1 tsp butter (for greasing the flan dish, I use Naturli)
3 tsp sugar
enough chopped apples to cover the base of your dish (or any fruit you like eg berries, chopped pears, pineapple, plums, apricots…)
aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas) around 150ml
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon (or vanilla or other flavourings of your choice)
3 tbsp milk (I use oat milk)
4 tbsp good oil (I use olive)
1 tsp icing sugar to dust at the end, optional
Preheat your oven to 175C and find a large flan dish or cake tin. You can even use a small roasting dish if you like, there’s no law to say your cake has to be round.
Grease your dish by rubbing butter all over the base and up the sides. Then sprinkle over 3 tsp of sugar.
Arrange your fruit over the butter and sugar as neatly or rustically as you like.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the aquafaba until frothy, then add the sugar and whisk until creamy.
Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir to combine. Careful not to over-mix here! Don’t worry if the batter looks a bit lumpy.
Now add the milk and oil and mix again, briefly, to just combine into a thick batter.
Spread the batter over the fruit, don’t worry if it looks a little thin and doesn’t quite reach the sides, it is supposed to be quite rustic and pudding like rather than a neat cake, and besides, it will spread and rise a lot in the oven.
Now bake until the cake is risen and golden and springs back when you lightly press on the top. This should take between 30 and 40 minutes but ovens, fruit and dish sizes vary so just keep an eye on it.
Drench with icing sugar and serve it warm in puddingy scoops with dollops of cream, custard or ice cream. Or let it chill and serve in neat slices with a cup of tea.
A clafoutis is a classic French dessert, somewhere between a cake and a pudding. It’s normally made with cherries but here’s my seasonal twist with gorgeous, tangy rhubarb and flaked almonds. The other twist? This recipe is plant based and low food waste, the eggs are replaced with aquafaba which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or white beans which is normally discarded. I love it served warm, scooped out of the dish into bowls with yoghurt or custard but it’s also delicious chilled and served in slices. Give it a try and let me know how you like it? And of course, switch the fruit for whatever you fancy. I even make a savoury version with asparagus or cherry tomatoes…the possibilities are endless!
Apart from the taste, the whole joy of this recipe is that it is very forgiving, hence the super-simple mug measurements. Some of my cakes require exact weights to work but this little beauty is a chilled out affair. Just grab a regular sized mug to weigh out your sugar and flour (not American style ‘cup’ measurements) and if you don’t have a measuring tbsp, just use a dessert spoon for the oil/milk. A few grams amiss here and there won’t affect the bake as it’s more of a pudding than a cake, so just trust your instincts and go for it. If you have a really big roasting dish or flan dish, use a big mug and enough rhubarb to cover the base in a single layer. And enjoy the easy, relaxed method!
1 tbsp butter/margarine
1 handful sugar
5 or so stalks of rhubarb
the liquid from a 400g can of chickpeas or white beans
a pinch of salt (omit if your aquafaba came from a salted tin)
3 tbsp oat milk (or more if needed)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 handful flaked almonds (optional)
yoghurt or custard to serve
Preheat your oven to 175C. Find a large flan dish or medium roasting dish.
Butter the base of the dish then scatter over a handful of sugar.
Rinse and cut your rhubarb into bite sized chunks then arrange them in the dish.
Pour the aquafaba from a can of chickpeas or white beans into a large mixing bowl. Keep the beans/chickpeas in a box in the fridge to use later today or tomorrow.
Whisk the aquafaba until frothy, then add the 1/2 mug of caster sugar and whisk until creamy.
Fold in the plain flour and baking powder (if your aquafaba came from an unsalted tin, add a pinch of salt now too).
Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla. You should have a thick, creamy batter. If it’s too thick, add a splash more milk and stir again.
Pour the batter over the rhubarb and spread it evenly. Scatter over the handful of flaked almonds if using.
Bake in the oven until golden brown and just set. This should take approximately 20-30 minutes. The cake should still have some wobble and the rhubarb should be just cooked through and tender.
If you find it’s browning too much on top before being cooked through, move it to a lower part of your oven and cover the dish with a baking sheet or some baking parchment.
Serve warm in large scoops with a dollop of yoghurt or custard. Or allow it to chill and set – the texture will become less pudding-like and more cake-like as it cools. You can then slice it and serve it in wedges like a regular cake.
Feel free to play around with the recipe substituting seasonal fruit or frozen berries as you like. I even make a savoury version with asparagus or cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and feta. Simply substitute the sugar for more flour and seasoning.