Sticky Toffee Pudding for a Burns Night Supper

by Elizabeth Atia -

The 25th of January marks the annual celebration of Scotland's national poet - Robert Burns. Traditionally, haggis suppers are served up and down the country near this date in honour of the bard himself.

This year, poor weather didn't stop residents of the west side of Shetland from making their way to the Skeld Hall, where a full spread was put on in true Scottish style.

Louise Robertson and her team of volunteers were very busy in the kitchen preparing a wide variety of dishes for all tastes, featuring, of course, haggis, neeps and tatties.

First, to get our tastebuds going, there was a selection of delicious oatcake canapés.

This was followed by a wee dram to toast the haggis. The haggis itself was piped in by Mr. Brian Chittick, while Mr. Jimmy Mercer skillfully and with great gusto recited Burns' famous Address to a Haggis.

Our meal was absolutely superb, with a traditional haggis being the star of the show. A gluten free and vegetarian haggis were also available, and children were given the option to have sausages and beans with their tatties instead.

Bashed tatties and neeps, braised red cabbage and the most gorgeous whisky and peppercorn sauce (I did try and get you the recipe for this - but it was made up on the spot by the cook, and she couldn't remember what she'd done!) were also served.

For afters - a selection of desserts including a Scottish berry, apple and pear crumble with custard (I had this - gorgeous!) and sticky toffee pudding (our youngest had this - he devoured every bite except for the one he let me try). There was also ice cream and jelly and gluten free options - a mini pavolva with cream or an apple and pear crumble. Something for everyone.

Tea and coffee were served afterwards along with some homemade shortbread and Scottish tablet. All in all it was an absolutely fantastic get together with friends, and at £15 per adult/ £7.50 per child (under 5's ate free) it was excellent value for money - funds which will go towards the Skeld Hall. A little birdie told me that this event in the hall could become an annual occurance given that this, their very first Burns Night Supper, sold out.

Louise Robertson very kindly gave me the recipe for the sticky toffee pudding she made on the night, so I can share it with you now.

A great big well done to everyone who volunteered and made this night something rather special.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Course: Main

Servings: 4 people

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

For the cake
  • butter - 55 grams (plus extra for greasing)
  • demerara sugar - 170 grams
  • golden syrup - 1 tbsp
  • eggs - 2
  • black treacle - 2 tbsp
  • self-raising flour - 200 grams
  • pitted dates - 200 grams
  • boiling water - 290 ml
  • bicarbonate of soda - 1 tsp
  • vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
For the sauce
  • muscovado sugar - 125 grams
  • butter - 125 grams
  • tin of evaporated milk - 1 small
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease and flour a baking dish.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor until pale and fluffy. Add the golden syrup, treacle and eggs, a little at a time, and blend until smooth. Add the flour and blend, at a low speed, until well combined. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the dates and boiling water in a food processor to a smooth puree. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and vanilla.
  4. Pour the date mixture into the pudding batter and stir until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is springy and golden-brown.
  6. To make the sauce, heat all of the ingredients in a pan, stirring occasionally, until boiling.
  7. Serve slices of the cake with lashing of hot sticky toffee sauce.
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