Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of those classic british deserts that I simply did not understand until I moved to the UK. I mean, it’s a cake so why do they call it a pudding? And you cover the cake with sauce? Why not icing? Do you actually want the cake to get soggy? The answer is yes. A sticky toffee pudding is a savoury, almost gingerbread-like sponge that you completely slather with a hot, sticky, sweet sauce that soaks into the sponge. Then, to top it off, you pour custard over the whole concoction to add a rich element and a touch more sweetness (because it really needs it…). Surprisingly, the result is delicious. The black treacle keeps the pudding from being too sweet while the sauces make it warm and gooey. I think this may be close to being an ideal comfort food. Try it, you’ll see.Makes 6-8 (depends on the size of your pudding moulds)

For the cake:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
  2. Grease and flour 8 pudding moulds. To make getting the mould into and out of the oven easier, place them on a cookie sheet. If you don’t have pudding moulds, you could get away with making these in muffin tins. Just note that the puddings will be a lot smaller so the yield will be higher and you will have to adjust the cooking times and make a bit more sauce.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. Add the black treacle (warning: it tastes like black liquorice so don’t lick the measuring spoon if you’re not a fan).
  5. Beat well until all the treacle is evenly mixed in.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well to combine.
  7. Now add the flour with the baking powder.
  8. Incorporate the flour into the butter mixture with a spoon first then use the beaters. This avoids flour going everywhere.
  9. Put your kettle onto boil then measure out the dates into a food processor.
  10. When the water boils, pour the boiling water over the dates and blitz until the mixture is smooth.
  11. Transfer the blended dates into a small bowl
  12. Add the baking soda to the dates. You will notice the bubbles immediately starting to form in the dates. Try to do the next steps as quickly as possible to maximize those bubbles.
  13. Beat the dates into the batter until it is smooth.
  14. Pour the batter into the floured pudding moulds.
  15. Bake for 20-25 mins or until the cake springs back when you press it gently with your finger.

For the sauce:

  1. While the puddings are baking, you can make the sauce.
  2. Measure everything out into a saucepan.
  3. Place the pan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a light boil stirring occasionally. Don’t worry, the butter makes it unlikely that the sauce will burn.
  4. Pour the sauce while it’s still really hot over the pudding with a good slathering of custard.
  5. Enjoy :)
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