Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sticky toffee pudding

There are some (probably the French) who say "If you want to eat well in England then eat breakfast for every meal." Though the British do make a mean breakfast I contend that where they really shine is dessert (or pudding).  I further contend that Sticky Toffee Pudding is the one of the best of all those delicious sticky dense rib sticking puddings.

This iconic British dessert is dense and moist on one hand but almost light on the other and a wonderful toffee sauce is poured over the top when warm which soaks into the rich moist cake.  I did not make my mother's recipe as I could not find it, so I used (with a little alteration) a recipe I found on Rock Recipes a blog from Newfoundland They suggested making it in muffin tins which I think is a great idea and I am going to try some day, but as I did not want to be fussing at the last minute I made it in a spring form pan.

8 ounces chopped pitted dried dates
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

3 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp golden syrup (or substitute dark corn syrup)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Place the dates and water in a small pot and bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for only a couple of minutes. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the rest of the batter.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract then beat in the eggs one at a time beating well after every addition. Then add the molasses and golden syrup and beat well again.

Add the dry ingredients (except the baking soda) to the creamed mixture in three equal portions mixing until smooth after each addition.

Puree the date mixture in a food processor or blender, I used my hand blender that I use for soups and it did the job with out dirtying another bowl.

Add the baking soda to the date mixture then add this warm mixture immediately to the batter and mix until smooth.

Pour batter into well greased and floured muffin tins  or spring form pans.

Bake for about 18 - 20 minutes for single cakes or about 30 minutes for larger ones at 350 degrees until the center is just firm. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes earlier in the day and then when we sat down to dinner I put them back in to finish and so they could be served warm. 

I had made the toffee sauce earlier in the day as well

Toffee Sauce

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Add all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a slow rolling boil for about 2 min before serving over the baked puddings. I just heated this back up at the last minute and poured over the pudding.  Yum.  And thank you to Helen for reminding me to take a picture of the finished pudding, where would I be without my friends, I often forget in the flurry of entertaining to take a photograph of the finished product
and what is a recipe without a picture of the finished product.

This was a delicious end to a delicious meal.  When we were down in San Antonio we bought a fridge magnet which I had to have on fridge which says "A good cook knows it is not what is on the plate that is important it is what is in the seats"  And though no one loves good food better than me, really it is so much better when shared with friends and in this case getting to know new interesting people.

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