I recently had a snow day. After getting the kids squared away with going out to play, I decided to make some English Sticky Toffee Pudding. I had been put in the mood for ESTP when I had some nice English Strong Ale from a local, new brewery that specializes in “English inspired Ales”. I had ESTP several times while in England for a vacation several years ago…it quickly became a favorite and “must have”. Well, I found a two-pack commercially available product in the grocery store…in the Britsh Stuff section. It was okay, to satisfy an immediate craving, but it wasn’t as good as I knew it could be. So, I jumped on Pinterest and read several recipes and found one I liked…one that used American measurements and ingredients. My only edits were adding a little more molasses, because I only had light brown sugar and substituting Half’n’Half for heavy cream, in the sauce.
English Sticky Toffee Pudding
(found at http://www.lafujimama.com/2012/08/sticky-toffee-pudding/ . Further credits referenced there.)
For the cake:
6 ounces chopped and pitted dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons softened butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (or light brown and add 1 T. Molasses)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Sauce:
2 cups heavy cream (or Half’n’Half)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (or light brown and increase molasses by 1 T.)
2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 pinch sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then grease an 8×8 square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
2. Make the cake: Combine the dates and water in a sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the baking soda, (It will foam up…don’t let it surprise you!) then set the saucepan aside.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Next add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low. Then add all of the date mixture and mix to combine. Then finish by adding the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.
6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake is springy in the middle. (Test with cake tester or skewer…should come out clean…or almost clean. Better to be slightly underdone than over.)
Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and then poke holes in it with a skewer. While the cake is cooling prepare the toffee sauce.
7. Make the toffee sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let the sauce boil until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
8. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the cake and let it soak in until ready to serve. Turn out cake onto a service plate and remove the parchment paper.
Serve in square pieces about the size of a cupcake.
Nap the cake with sauce on what has now become the top side. Use the rest of the sauce for serving along with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. This cake is best served warm!
I was very pleased with the results and I’m sure you will be too! Don’t be put off by the dates. if you just haven’t had experience with them before. They practically melt into the batter and just add a rich, sweet, caramel flavor. The little bits in the cake are pretty much indistinguishable…not like raisins or chips at all! The only thing I may do differently in the future is look for a sauce that doesn’t use milk or cream. Technically, that would make it caramel. I know. But I seem to remember sauces more like dark caramel in England and I preferred them. I used Half’n’Half in this recipe, because I didn’t have heavy cream, but it turned out fine. I hope you’ll give it a try. Sticky toffee pudding is equally good with a nice English stout or strong ale, coffee or milk. A warm piece of Sticky Toffee Pudding on a cold day…mmm. Talk about comfort food! Drop a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top and really indulge yourself! Enjoy!!