Who’s ever heard of a fat free sticky toffee pudding? Well culinary queens  Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice have dreamed up this yummy little beauties, featured in their new book, The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife and Beyond (Octopus Publishing Group). This recipe is just one of many creations Mimi and Sam suggest for healthy living.

Midlife Sticky Toffee Puddings

 Why We Love It

A 10-minute mini marvel, these little puddings are completely fat-free, with the sweetness coming from our favourite Medjool dates. You get a real lift from the whisked egg white, resulting in a very light but wonderfully sticky mouthful.

Serves 4


175g Medjool dates, pitted

175ml water

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, separated

85g self-raising flour

a pinch of sea salt flakes

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 tbsp date syrup


Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.

Place the dates and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, then cook for 3–4 minutes until softened. Leave to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender, add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and blitz until almost smooth. Tip into a bowl and stir in the egg yolks. Sift in the flour, add the salt and bicarbonate of soda and stir well.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form, then fold into the date mixture, ensuring they are fully incorporated.

Put one tablespoon of the date syrup into each of four pudding moulds or ramekins, then divide the mixture between them. Transfer the moulds to a roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin to reach halfway up the moulds.

Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the puddings comes out clean (the timing will depend on the depth of the moulds or ramekins). Run a knife around the edge of the moulds, then invert the puddings on to individual plates. Serve immediately.

These puddings don’t require any extra sweetness, but if you’re keen to add a sauce, try our Caramel Sauce.


Caramel Sauce

 Why We Love It

Our Caramel Sauce delivers all the unctuous gooeyness of a traditional toffee sauce, but (amazingly) with no butter at all, and coconut sugar replacing the usual caster. Of course, sugar is sugar whatever the form – and we all know that eating too much of it is no good thing; but coconut sugar does have a lower GI score than conventional table sugar, which means less of a blood-sugar spike when you do choose to indulge.

Serves 2


50g coconut sugar

a splash of water

50ml coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of sea salt flakes (optional)


Mix the coconut sugar with a splash of water in a small saucepan, then bring to a simmer. Add the coconut milk, vanilla and salt (if using); bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced and darkened.

Leave to cool slightly, then chill – it benefits from 30 minutes in the fridge to thicken before serving, but it can also be served warm. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Health Tip

Coconut sugar tastes similar to brown sugar, but contains some nutrients and has a lower GI score. This sauce is slighty less sweet than conventional toffee sauces, but a spoonful still goes a long way.

Health Tip

A recent study found that date syrup shows promise for fighting bacterial infections, and dates are a good source of gut-friendly fibre too.








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