Tag Archives: SHF

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sugar High Friday

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)!

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A Tarte of Strawberryes

Sugar High Friday - Test of Time

This is a recipe for the monthly Sugar High Friday blogging event created by the Domestic Goddess. This month’s very creative theme was chosen by In My Box.

I was excited to see the theme of this month’s Sugar High Friday – The Test of Time – Desserts Over a Century Old. You see, for most of my adult life, I have been very active in a Medieval re-creation group called the SCA, so this theme seemed right up my alley! And it being my first SHF since I began blogging, I’ve been looking forward to it all month.

Eagerly, I went through all of my Medieval books. I knew I had some cookbooks in there. I pulled them out and went through them, looking for the most decadent Medieval dessert I could find.

One book was entirely in Middle English. I like to consider myself adventurous, but I wasn’t ready to be quite THAT adventurous. One book was in French. My best bet was. This is a two volume set of books – one with just the recipes in their original form and one showing modern redactions of the recipes. I’d surely find something wonderful in there!

There were only a very few desserts listed and most of them did not sound very dessert-y to me. Hmm. I knew going in that this would be an issue – you see, in the Middle Ages, dessert was not quite the decadent thing it is today. They usually just had some fruit or something similar. Light, easy, naturally sweet. There was a pie I almost did – but it was a sweet / savory mix involving marrow and parsley. I decided I wanted something more appealing to the modern mind-set (besides, I don’t know where to even get marrow).

Instead, I found a lovely little custard pie called Doucetes. A simple recipe involving cream and honey, it sounded like a winner.

The pie crust I chose for the custard crumpled in on itself miserably. There was no place for the custard to go – it was just kind of a glob of dough. Okay, how about a custard without a crust? That burned. I tasted a less burned portion – not worth redoing.

Let me say that sometimes the Gods of Baking are with you and sometimes they just aren’t. This weekend, I’m pretty sure they were in someone else’s kitchen. Just sayin’.

Into the trash it went and out to the Internet I went. You can find anything on the Internet, right? Right!

After much searching, I found this recipe for a strawberry tart. Although simple, it sounded delicious, and I very conveniently had a big container of fresh strawberries in my fridge. I had seen some other strawberry tarts in my research, but this one seemed simple, quick and delicious. I had recently been eyeing this fruit galette recipe on MyRecipes.com, and since the strawberry tart did not include a crust recipe, I decided to use this one.

Despite the Gods of Baking turning up their noses at me, I managed to at least get this one made. The crust, while delicious, was challenging. It came together quickly and easily, but during rolling became extremely soft and sticky. So sticky that it stuck persistently even to the parchment paper I used to roll it out with.

I filled it with the strawberries as instructed and attempted to fold the edges up, galette style. Sticky, globby, uncooperative. Okay, how about a chill for a while? Into the fridge it went.

After a little while, I took it out and tried again. Much firmer. Too firm, in fact, as it broke when I tried to fold it. Ookkkay, how about a few minutes to relax? After a few minutes – you guessed it – right back to sticky and globby. Sigh.

Eventually, I managed to get it folded over. Not pretty, but folded. I proceeded to follow the recipe as written. Whew! I was really relieved to be getting to that part.

After baking, the pan needed to be tilted to allow the excess juices to flow away while the galette cooled. This worked fine. Unfortunately, my camera and the lighting in the house wasn’t cooperating either (did I mention it was a very frustrating weekend?). None of my pictures came out well and even with some processing, they still look kinda weird. I have a lot to learn about photography!

The end result is that the pie is a actually a very simple and delicious dessert if made with a tasty crust you trust. The strawberries are rich, sweet and very juicy and could probably be served just by themselves without a crust – or maybe as a type of cobbler with the crust on top so it doesn’t get soggy.

Yeah, they knew how to eat, even in the Middle Ages!

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Strawberry on FoodistaStrawberry