Sticky toffee pudding

I agree that this may not be the prettiest looking pudding out there, but I assure you that what it lacks in aesthetic appeal is more than compensated for in taste. Now that we are on this topic, I have a question – how on earth do you make something that’s sticky and gooey look good in a photograph without it looking like you’re the messiest eater on the planet? Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I took Martha Stewart’s recipe. And I tweaked it. I subbed the castor sugar for brown, reduced the quantity, and also found it enough to make just half the amount of toffee sauce that it called for. The brown sugar gives the pudding that extra caramel-y nuttiness, accentuated by the plump date bits that form its base. The toffee sauce ties it all together and makes it a foolproof lick-worthy pud. Delicious!

We had friends over for dinner this past weekend and I’d made Aubergine parmigiana but with beef instead, and this sticky toffee pudding for dessert. I made the pudding a good 8 hours earlier and after going completely berserk with the hole-poking on it, poured half the toffee sauce over to soak it all up. The rest was reserved for drizzling over and licking straight from the bowl. Had to be done.

INGREDIENTS : (Serves 8)

Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the pudding :

100 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

250 grams pitted dates, finely chopped

2 tsp baking powder

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

For the toffee sauce :

100 grams unsalted butter

½ cup cream (I used low-fat)

½ cup brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

METHOD :

For the toffee sauce :

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it up to the boil, stirring occasionally to break down the butter. Once combined, let it simmer for 10 – 15 minutes to thicken slightly. You’re looking for a pour-able, syrupy consistency. This can be made in advance and kept refrigerated, and microwaved when ready to use.

For the pudding :

Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F) and butter and flour a baking dish. You could alternatively use a muffin tray.

Re-hydrate the dates in ½ cup of boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time, beating all the while until everything is incorporated well. Add the dates to this and fold together. Pour in the vanilla.

In another bowl, add your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a gently mix and then add your wet ingredients to this. Fold gently without overworking the batter. Tip into your baking dish/muffin tray and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, keeping an eye on it after 30 minutes. If a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean, your cake is cooked. Remove and let it cool slightly.

Once the pudding is cooled down, poke holes 2 inches apart with a skewer, and pour half the toffee sauce all over it. Let stand for 2 – 3 hours for the sauce to soak in.This pudding is best served warm with the remaining toffee sauce drizzled over it.

 

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