Sticky Toffee Pudding
The theme for this month’s Sugar High Friday was chosen by Heather at Diary of a Fanatic Foodie (no longer an active link) – and it’s a fun one! Recreate a fabulous dessert had while traveling.
Before I tell you what I chose, let me give you some background. You see, I am one of those rare people who once won a big grand prize. In 2007, I won a trip to London, England to see the premiere of the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Can you believe it? I sure couldn’t! After I was notified that I’d won, I kept expecting to get a call saying “oops, sorry, it was all a mistake.” But no, I was, in fact, the grand prize winner. The prize was a 4 day, all expenses paid trip for 4 to London, England. Twentieth Century Fox had a chauffered car pick us up at the airport and take us to a 5 star hotel, we were given some spending cash, and all meals at the hotel were paid for. The night of the premiere, we were picked up again and taken to the theater, where we walked down the red carpet (well, actually, theirs was blue) right before the stars did!
Although the trip was way too short, it was a lot of fun and I was so excited to go to England – it’s been on my to-do list for just ever. I still need to go back, as I didn’t have time to see even a fraction of what I’d like to, but while we were there, we at least made a point to try some of the local specialties.
As soon as I heard the theme for this month’s SHF, I knew exactly what to make. Being in London, of course we had tried Sticky Toffee Pudding. We had no idea what it was when we ordered it, but after we tasted it, we were sold! Super moist cake, covered in a rich, caramelly sauce – it is to kill for.
Now that I had an excuse to make this lovely dessert, I had to figure out how. I went in search of recipes and found a zillion of them – all different. So I took the things I liked from various recipes and made my own. I don’t remember what we had in London clearly enough to tell you if this version is anywhere close to it or not, but I can tell you it is delicious! My boyfriend would eat the whole pan in one sitting, if I’d let him.
So, take a little trip to England and try some Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s actually quick and easy to make and oh, so decadent. Enjoy (we certainly did)!
- 6 oz dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger (optional)
- 2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup (or honey or molasses)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with baking spray.
Put dates in a small saucepan with water and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil over high heat. Watch carefully to avoid boil over. Reduce heat and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and set aside (will foam up a little).
Beat butter in mixer for a couple of minutes, then add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
Add flour and mix briefly, then add date mixture, mixing just until combined – do not overmix.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until a deep golden brown and firm to the touch but still spongy. 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat dark brown sugar, cane syrup and butter in a small saucepan on low-medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer 2-3 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Stir in cream, let it bubble down and then remove from heat.
Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes in cake and pour syrup over, reserving a small amount for serving.
Cut cake into squares and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy while very warm.