Sticky Toffee Pudding
Contributed by Ellen Easton, adapted from Cooks Illustrated
A long time English favorite for tea time, sticky toffee pudding is a delectable indulgence. A treat that can easily be prepared by even the novice at home cook.
- 8 ounces pitted dates, cut into¼ inch thick slices (1⅓ cups)
- ¾ cup warm water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1- ¼ cups (6 ¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla if available.
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon of water
- 1 cup packed (7 ounces) brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon rum (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
PREPARE the PUDDING CAKES
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle. Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat eight 6-ounce ramekins with vegetable spray and bownulated or granulated sugar.
- Place a folded dishtowel in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
- Place prepared ramekins on top of towel; set aside pan.
- Bring water to boil.
- Submerge half of the dates in a cup or pan of warm water and baking soda to soak for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a food processor process the sugar and remaining dates until the mixture has the texture of damp, coarse sand, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Drain soaked dates and add soaking liquid to processor. Add eggs, melted butter, vanilla and process until smooth, about 15 seconds.
- Transfer sugar mixture to bowl with the flour mixture. Sprinkle soaked dates on top. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the sugar mixture into the flour mixture until just combined and date pieces are evenly dispersed.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins, two-thirds full. Quickly pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come ¼ inch up sides of ramekins. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, crimping edges to seal.
- Bake approximately 40 minutes until the cakes are puffed and surfaces are spongy, firm, and moist to touch. Immediately transfer ramekins from water bath to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
PREPARE the TOFFEE SAUCE
- While the cakes are cooling, melt butter with water in medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and slightly darkened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in ⅓ cup cream until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in remaining 2/3-cup cream and rum- if using, whisking constantly until smooth.
- Reduce heat to low; simmer until frothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Using a toothpick, poke 25 holes in top of each cake and spoon 1 tablespoon toffee sauce over each cake. Let cakes sit until sauce is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Invert each ramekin onto plate or shallow bowl; lift off ramekin. Divide remaining toffee sauce evenly among cakes and serve immediately.
Sticky toffee pudding is traditionally served with crème anglaise or vanilla ice cream.
Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island. For more of Ellen’s recipes, menus, click here.