>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Article first published as Sticky Toffee Pudding on Blogcritics.
After looking at some of my recent blog posts, I've come to realize that restaurants everywhere are starting to offer Sticky Toffee Pudding as a dessert option. Fantastic right?
There is nothing better than warm buttery sticky sweet goodness! However I was shocked to hear that not very many people were aware of the fact that the ‘pudding’ in Sticky Toffee Pudding didn't actually mean pudding at all!
It wasn’t until one evening when I was out with a good friend of mine perusing the dessert menu after a lovely dinner, when she made an off-handed comment about not being in to puddings, did I realize that she didn’t know what a sticky toffee pudding was (it was hard to stay friends after that comment! Ok, I kid, I kid). So after I ordered my dessert, I opted to start her off with a taste and a story of what it actually was. Although I wonder if she was listening since she was more intrigued with the cake at this point then in me, but I digress.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is actually an amazingly moist melt in your mouth cake, which used to be only found in England at most British establishments, but recently has exploded on to the North American foodie scene. It originated from the Southern part of the British Isles, but nobody knows for sure where its roots lie. So as for coining the dessert a pudding, you see, the British term their cakes puddings because that’s what they’re use to referencing as something sweet or dessert like. It really has nothing to do with puddings at all. Well not what we North Americans would call pudding, which is more atuned to a custard. It’s really all part of Brits and their slang.
The cake itself is made from dates, butter, brown sugar and infused with a lovely creamy, buttery caramel toffee sauce. At the end of the baking process, the toffee sauce is poured right on to and in to the cake itself to allow the sauce to seep in to every nook and cranny within. This step is crucial in making the perfect pudding and protects the moistness and melt in your mouth feel which is achieved from this step or else it would never be considered a true sticky pudding. When served you also pour a bit of the lovely toffee sauce overtop to get the truly decadent indulgent final product that’s well deserving of its name. Of course it would also have to be served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side for contrast. Plus who doesn’t love a warm dessert with melting vanilla ice cream overtop?
So here I share my own version of this lovely decadent dessert! Now that we all know what this Sticky Toffee Pudding is all about, maybe there will be more adventurers out there enjoying this import from the Brits. I know my friend has converted and hopefully some of you will as well. I’m pretty sure once you have though; you’ll never look at the word pudding quite the same. Just make sure you don’t eat it all, I still need to keep up my quota!
Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – Bonnie’s Version
1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped
1 cup water, hot
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Toffee Sauce:1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºC.Grease 9" cake pan
Place dates in pot with water and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the dates. Remove from heat and puree dates. Stir in baking soda and let stand for 15 minutes.
Beat butter with brown sugar until creamy. Add in eggs one at a time and beat until smooth then add in vanilla until combined.
Sift flour with baking power, spices and salt. Slowly add to wet batter. After dry ingredients are all incorporated, using a spatula, gently fold in pureed dates.
Spoon in to cake pan, filling about 2/3 full and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While puddings are baking, prepare sauce. Melt butter, stir in sugar and then cream and simmer until the sauce thickens, roughly 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
After removing the pudding from the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes, prick the top of the pudding with numerous holes using a toothpick. Spoon some of the toffee sauce over the pudding and allow it to soak in.
To serve, cut in to 3-4" slices and top with more sauce and ice cream. Best served warm.