Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I don't have a big sweet tooth but tend to go mad twice a year.  First, at Halloween. It's such a festive holiday and who can resist sampling the mini Snickers, Butterfingers and Kit Kats? The second occasion is sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I prepare an irresistible version of the classic English dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding.  The opportunity knocked to prepare it today as I had never done so for my parents, who were in town visiting from Pittsburgh. This recipe is so easy yet tastes so special. It was passed to me from my mother-in-law, who is an excellent cook. {It originates from the Burleigh Court Hotel in Gloucester, England. I am so glad she asked for the recipe and they obliged}  

I always thought it was an outstanding recipe but was pleasantly surprised to hear my friend, who spend years eating sticky toffee pudding in English boarding school, proclaim it "the best". Wow.}  

Sticky Toffee Pudding

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3c + 1/4 c super fine sugar (not powdered sugar) (*)
2 eggs
2/3 c + 1/4 c pitted, chopped dates
300 ml water
1 t baking soda
2/3 c + 1/4 c self-rising flour (not all-purpose)
1 t vanilla extract
- and for the sauce
300 ml heavy whipping cream
1/2 c brown sugar
1 dessert spoon black treacle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.

In a bowl, combine water and dates.  Boil in microwave on high until dates are soft - 4-5 minutes.  Add baking soda. 

Mix in the flour, the dates and their liquid, and vanilla into the butter mixture until combined. The batter will be runny.  Pour batter into a greased 8" by 8" baking tin and cook for 30-40 minutes, until just firm to the touch.

To make the sauce, combine sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for approximately 1 minute, until all ingredients have combined into a smooth sauce.

This dessert can be made in advance.  Refrigerate cake and sauce in separate air tight containers.  To serve, cut cake into 6 pieces and place on individual plates. Drizzle each cake with desired amount of sauce and warm in the microwave.

(*) If you cannot find super fine sugar, process white sugar through a grinder or food processor.

Serves 6.
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Source:   Burleigh Court Hotel

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