Sticky toffee pudding (a recipe NOT for the faint hearted)

The first time I ate this Brit classic I knew that I was going to spend many an hour in the kitchen trying to re-create it. I still vividly remember the moistness of the cake and the intense buttery goodness of the caramel sauce from the first time and numerous visits to eat more only intensified my desire to learn how to make this.

My first attempt to make sticky toffee pud was almost disastrous in my opinion but it was polished off quickly. This recipe involved baking the pudding and sauce together in the oven and while the sauce was near perfection, the pudding was more like a date and flour rock. The flavor was good but the texture completely wrong. Being a near perfectionist in the kitchen, I was disheartened and decided to put this recipe to rest.

However, when a close friend decided to visit I found myself wondering what to make for dessert and while pouring through one of my mother’s cookbooks I found another recipe for sticky toffee pudding, this time involving cooking the sauce and pudding separately, and decided to attempt it again.

What resulted was a moist gooey pudding which got even better after resting for a day. It was almost as if Christmas had come early to town. My parents have been fighting eating other off trying to get the last piece of the pudding while I am left with a bowl of caramel sauce to finish off. The recipe incorporated black tea to moisten the dates and boy did that make a difference! The combination of dates, toffee, tea, caramel and butter are simply divine! This recipe is rich and should come with an advisory warning about waistlines increasing as a direct result of eating this. Anyways, Enjoy!

Sticky Toffee Pudding:(serves 8-10)

For the pudding:

250gms Dates, pitted and chopped into small pieces

250ml Black tea (not strong)

1 Tsp bicarbonate

85 gms Unsalted butter softened

175gms caster sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

175gms self rasing flour, sieved

1 tsp ground mixed spice

For the sauce

75gms muscavado sugar (brown sugar)

100 gms unsalted butter

125ml double cream

1) Pre heat the over to 180 deg C/gas mark 4

2) Place the dates and tea in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes for the dates to soften and cool for a few minutes. Stir in the bicarb into the date-tea mixture

3) Cream together butter and sugar before thoroughly mixing in the flour, eggs, mixed spice and date mixture.

4) Pour into a 22cm buttered dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is firm to touch.

5) While the pudding is cooking, place the brown sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Place over a low heat and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a light toffee colour.

6) Serve the pudding with the warm sauce and if you are feeling indulgent/adventurous, add a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream.

I am off to try salvaging a few crumbs for myself!

ps: I added some rum to the sauce and it just intensified the flavour. So you can add alcohol to either the pudding, the sauce or both!

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