Sunday, 11 January 2009

Sticky toffee pudding

I have made individual sticky toffee puddings before but this is a larger version and the sauce recipe is quite different.

There seems to be something about Christmas-time in Britain that makes everyone wildly over-estimate the amount of dates their guests will wish to eat. Most of us can happily get through the year without thinking much, if at all, about eating dates but, come December we’re buying boxes of the things as if Christmas would be ruined without them. I can hear the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) bristling whilst reading this so I’d better confess – it was me who grossly over-bought dates this year. But who could blame me - aren’t they beautiful?

This was my thought process: it’s colder than Antarctica in England this week and I need to get rid of lots of dates. Voila! Sticky toffee pudding. If there was ever a better reason to stock pile dates I’m interested to hear it!

Here’s the cake fresh from the oven:

I can’t even try to argue any health benefits on this one; it’s as sinful as pudding can be. The sweet, light sponge is dotted with dates, releasing their beautiful toffee flavour in every mouthful. Add to that the thick, creamy sauce stoked up with brown sugar and black treacle and it’s an assault on the taste buds! Yum.

A piece of cake....

...only truly becomes sticky toffee pudding once the sauce is added:

For the cake:
175g stoned and chopped dates (I used Medjool)
300ml water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
175g self raising flour

For the sauce:
300ml double cream
50g Demerara sugar
2 heaped teaspoons black treacle

How to make:

- Preheat oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/ Gas mark 4
- Grease a 22cm square tin.
- Boil the dates in the water for 5 minutes until the dates are soft. Make sure you use a large saucepan – larger than you think you need.
- Stir in the bicarbonate of soda. It will bubble up a lot, hence the need for a large saucepan. Put to one side until needed.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. It won’t become light and fluffy because the sugar far outweighs the butter.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Stir in the flour.
- Pour in the contents of the saucepan i.e. dates AND liquid.
- Stir until well combined. The batter will be very runny so don’t panic.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out cleanly.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Now make the sauce: put all the ingredients into a saucepan and stir, over a low heat, until smooth.
- Bring to the boil.
- Cut the sponge into squares and ladle the sauce over the top. Serve with either ice cream (my favourite) or custard.
- You can make both the sponge and the sauce in advance and re-heat when required. I re-heated the sponge, still in the tin, in a fan oven temperature of 130°C . The sauce can be re-heated in a saucepan on the hob – simply stir until smooth and then bring to the boil.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Margaret said...

You are teasing us again - with sticky toffee pudding though, this time.
I long for this pudding at any time of the year.

Holler said...

I never eat dates out of a packet, but I think they are great in desserts. I bet my mum bought some a Christmas though. Your sticky toffee pudding sounds divine, yum!

glamah16 said...

iI have yet to try this dessert. Sounds perfect for the artic week your having.

Maria said...

All I have to say is YUUUMMMMM!

Even though its summer in the southern hemisphere, this dessert makes me wish it was winter so I can warm my tummy by eating it!

pigpigscorner said...

wow looks amazing. I look sticky toffee pudding but haven't tried making it as I will be the only one finishing it.

Dee said...

This is one of my fave puddings ever!

I recently bookmarked David Lebovitz's recipe, but my rapidly expanding gut has so far stopped me. I'm off to Brisbane soon, and am trying not to scare the locals with the sight of me in my bikini.

Maria said...

This one looks so comforting and delish!

aquadaze said...

For someone who loves baking, this place is a treasure trove!!I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

Premyscakes said...

awesome, Pudding looks soo.... tempting.

Katie said...

Ohh yum that looks delicious and perfect for this time of year - so comforting.

Sam said...

Wow, that looks amazing!

Big Boys Oven said...

oh wow I wish this bake of yours stick on my sweet teeth, just heavenly awesome! :)

The Sugar Fairy said...

Fresh dates - yum, sticky puddings - even yummier

What! You don't know who Astro Boy is!! Well, if you weren't a child of the 80's then he'll forgive you;)

Astro Boy was a super cool cartoon robot boy that fought bad guys:)

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Somehow you always know what I want to be eating--this looks awesome. I need to buy dates and get to this

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Oh my goodness me! Have you got any left? Please?

Emily said...

I love sticky toffee pudding! Isn't is possibly the best dessert ever?

Sophie said...

This is one of my favorite desserts, delicious! :)

Cakelaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cakelaw said...

You can never have enough dates - I eat them like lollies out of the packet. And I adore sticky toffee pudding - if I see it on a menu, I close my eyes and pretend not to see it, because I know it is sinful - BUT I LOVE IT!

Jules said...

Oh my goodness does this look delicious!

Starr said...

Yep, sticky toffee pudding is a favorite in our house too! My hubby took a trip to Scotland several yrs ago and came back raving about this dessert that they eat there. We love it - but save it for VERY special occasions! I don't even want to venture a guess on the calories! haha It's too good to spoil it with knowledge like that! Thanks for all the yummy recipes on your site - I'm enjoying looking around!

Anonymous said...

Hey C/C hope all is good with you and yours.
I was wondering whether you could use the sauce that you made for the individual little sticky toffee puddings for this larger one?

Looks just yummy - ultimate comfort food for body and soul.

Roze :-)

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Roze

Yes - that would work perfectly. Extra sauce is always good!

Happy baking