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This is the ultimate sweet and sticky dessert.


250g dates, de-stoned and roughly chopped
150ml dairy free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g soft brown sugar
50g muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle/molasses
80g dairy free margarine, plus extra for greasing
180g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, halved and finely sliced

For the toffee sauce:

150g demerara sugar
50g muscovado sugar
100g dairy free margarine
50g golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
80ml dairy free cream

For the custard:

50g dairy free butter
25g plain flour
600ml plant based milk
75ml icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp turmeric


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4
Heat the dates and milk in a small pan for 5 minutes until the dates have softened and you can mash them with a back of a spoon. Add the vanilla to the pan and take off the heat.

In a separate pan heat the sugars, golden syrup, treacle and margarine until everything has melted. Stir in the date mixture and take off the heat.

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.

Grease a baking dish (I used 28cmx20cm) and pour the mixture in. Fan out the pear slices and place on top. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the sponge is just cooked in the centre (this may take longer depending on the size of your dish)

Meanwhile make the toffee sauce. Melt the sugars, margarine and golden syrup in a pan. Allow to cool slightly then add the vanilla and cream, whisking until it is fully combined.

To make the custard put the dairy-free butter in the medium saucepan and stir it with a wooden spoon until it melts. Turn the heat of the saucepan right down, sieve the flour into the pan, stirring constantly until you have a thick dough-like paste. Gradually pour the plant-based milk into the dough, stirring until you have a thick creamy sauce. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and turmeric to the pan and stir it until it’s well mixed and take the pan off the heat. Make sure there are no lumps by whisking it if necessary. Adjust to get the right consistency with a bit more plant-based milk if necessary.