I’ve always wanted to make sticky toffee pudding. It’s one of those classic English desserts that sounds rich and exotic and you’re not quite sure what to expect. The term “pudding” leaves you wondering if you need a spoon to eat it. But then “toffee” has you thinking it it might be crunchy and brittle. So, you’re standing around imagining a pile of pudding on a toffee bar and it just sounds way out there. Luckily, it’s not what it seems. Sticky toffee pudding is a decadent, gooey molasses cake that practically sings Christmas carols. You need it at your holiday dessert table this year.
Ingredients: (makes about 9 servings)
Adapted from David Lebovitz
For the toffee sauce:
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt
For the pudding:
6 ounces pitted dates, snipped or chopped
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon garam masala (for more spice, you could use ground cloves)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F and butter an 8 inch baking dish.
First, make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, brown sugar, molasses, syrup, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.
Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared baking dish and place the dish in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.
Next, make the pudding. In a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the spices, then set aside, but keep it slightly warm.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. (Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks a bit curdled. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Don’t overbeat the batter.
Remove the baking dish from the freezer and scrape the batter into the dish and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Remove the pudding from the oven and let it cool slightly. Cut into squares or spoon out the baking dish and into bowls. Serve with heaps of toffee sauce drizzled on top.
You could serve this with whipped cream or ice cream. It’s also amazing as is. No garnish necessary.
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