Recipe with The Warehouse Brasserie, Colchester

FAMOUS for their popularity at the Bake House in Wivenhoe, husband and wife team Sue and Phil Hirst have moved into town – literally. Opening the Warehouse Brasserie in Colchester, the couple have left son Simon at the helm of the Bake House along with his partner, Sue. Previously Sue and Phil had run a successful establishment in Norfolk which became a finalist in the Pub/Restaurant of the Year in their first year of business. However, they left Norfolk and moved to Essex for a better quality of life. They were approached on several occasions to consider taking over the Warehouse, as Sue explains. ‘It’s really nostalgia which made us decide to come to Colchester in the end,’ says Sue. ‘Phil and I used to go out in the town when we were dating and we remember this restaurant from those days as the place to go.’ The couple aim to restore that accolade by using a mix of good service and locally-sourced produce, all freshly cooked to order. They are also happy to cater for special dietary requirements with prior notice. There are plans for monthly events this year with a wine tasting this month featuring a specialist wine grower as the guest speaker. Live bi-monthly musical events are also in the pipeline. Here head chef, Jackie Wyatt, shares her recipe for one of the Warehouse’s most popular puddings.


Ingredients  (serves 8)

For the puddings

150g  of dates, stones    removed & chopped250ml  of hot water1 tsp  of bicarbonate of    soda60g  of soft butter60g  of caster sugar2  eggs150g  of self raising flour

For the caramel sauce

200g  of butter400g  of brown sugar1  vanilla pod, split250ml  of double cream

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Method For the puddings• Pre heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.• Mix the dates, bicarbonate of soda and hot water in a bowl and leave to soak for 10 minutes.• In a clean bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.• Still stirring the butter mixture, gradually add lightly beaten eggs, ensuring they are mixed in well.• Continue to stir the butter, sugar and egg mixture as you gradually add the flour and the date mixture.• Pour the mixture into a lined or non-stick 7” square cake tin.• Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. To make the sauce •  Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan over a medium heat.•  Add the brown sugar, vanilla pod and cream, stir well, and simmer for 5 minutes. To serve• Spoon out the pudding on to a plate, spoon over the hot toffee sauce and as an optional extra serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!