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My best-selling dish: Tim Fisher, pastry chef, ISS Food & Hospitality Services

29 May 2015
My best-selling dish: Tim Fisher, pastry chef, ISS Food & Hospitality Services

Tim Fisher, pastry chef at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, London, for ISS Food & Hospitality Services, talks about his best-selling dish

Sticky toffee pudding

  • Selling price: £5.50
  • Gross profit: 72%

Chef's inspiration

This is one of my all-time favourite dishes; I wanted to make the best version I could.

This one is sticky and moist with a wonderful flavour of dates, and the sauce has good depth of flavour but is not too sweet.

After working on and perfecting this recipe over many years, I think this version ticks all the boxes and our customers seem to agree. It makes up around 40% of dessert orders when it's on the menu.

For the best results, use dried dates and make it the day before serving. In the restaurant we serve it with crushed honeycomb and clotted cream: simple and delicious.

Serves 12

  • 120g water
  • 180g dried dates
  • 90g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 140g soft light brown sugar
  • 90g egg
  • 1g vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 10g baking powder

For the sauce

  • 45g caster sugar
  • 375g double cream
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 180g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1g vanilla extract
  • 1g salt
  • Clotted cream and crushed honeycomb to serve

Utensils and equipment

  • Scales
  • Plastic scraper
  • Medium saucepan
  • Food processor
  • 20cm square baking tin
  • Fine sieve
  • Silicon paper
  • Cling film

Preparation and cooking

Bring 120g water to the boil, add the dried dates and soak for one hour; then place into a food processor until smooth and allow to cool.

For the pudding, place the butter and brown sugar into a food processor and mix until creamed. Add the beaten egg, vanilla extract, flour and baking powder and mix, then slowly add the date purée and mix until smooth.

Line a 20cm square tin with silicone paper, scrape the batter evenly into the tin and place another sheet of silicon paper on top; wrap tightly with cling film.

Steam for two hours, remove from the oven and immediately pierce the cling film. Allow to cool completely.

For the sauce, caramelise the caster sugar in a dry pan, add the cream a little at a time, then add the butter, dark brown sugar and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Add the vanilla, sieve once cool and refrigerate overnight.

Once the sponge is cold, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, evenly trim the four sides off the sponge and divide the sponge into 12 equal pieces. Cut through each square twice to make three layers. Place a spoonful of cold sauce between each layer and lightly press together, then wrap in cling film.

To serve, unwrap the pudding from the cling film and heat in a microwave for about 40 seconds. Preheat the toffee sauce in a pan.

Place the pudding into a warmed dessert bowl and pour the sauce over, adding a scoop of Cornish clotted cream or ice-cream. Scatter crushed home-made honeycomb over the cream and serve.

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