Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Every country is known for a specific food. Italy is know for it's pasta, Belgium is chocolate, India for their spices, and so on.

When it comes to the country that knows how to create unique desserts with even more interesting names (Spotted Dick or Banoffee Pie to name a few) there is one land that understands the need for stodgy goodness.

Home of the Chip Butty, it's the United Kingdom.

Here's a little geography lesson for you. Don't worry, you won't be tested, but don't be surprised if you feel a bit cheated from the educational system.

The United Kingdom is made up of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, however, only consists of England, Scotland, and Wales. It's kind of like the USA in a way. Although there are Fitty States (yeah, that's right, I said Fitty), 48 of them are contiguous States. Alaska and Hawaii are still members of our great land, they're just not connected to the same land mass. Same goes here. Just as each state has their own flag, each country in the UK also has their own flag. 

Anyway, we were in England a few years back for a wedding. We were staying at my husband's mate's parents house. These are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. I just adore them.

Mama Angela is an amazing cook. One night after a gorgeous meal of Lancashire Hot Pot, she brought out her homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. Oh. My. I took one bite and I literally needed a moment. I mean, I had Sticky Toffee Pudding before, but nothing like this!  My daughter was 2 at the time and I don't think I ever heard her so quiet at the dinner table.

This dessert should come with a disclaimer: Be prepared to lick the bowl clean and wet yourself a little.



½ cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs

Preheat oven at 350 F.

Butter 8-inch square cake pan.

Put dates and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Boil over medium heat until the dates are very soft - about 5 minutes. Like so....

Transfer dates into a food processor and puree. (You should have about a cup). Let cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a bowl; set aside. 

In separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until pale in color. Add eggs one at a time until well blended.

Incorporate flour mixture in small batches, alternating with the date mixture until all is well blended.

Pour into prepared 8-inch pan. I like to do intricate designs in all my cakes. It's like my signature move.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Toffee Sauce:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup unsalted butter

Add the 3 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure everything is melted and incorporated. Pour over cake.

Note: Both cake and toffee sauce are best enjoyed warm.

Happy Baking!