Happy Food Baby has been very lazy indeed. It’s already July and there hasn’t been a peep out of her kitchen! Baby is back with a bang with this very delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding, courtesy of the wonderful Nigel Slater over at the BBC Good Food website. There’s also a lesson behind today’s offering: the value of trial and error. There’s a lot to be said for following a recipe correctly, but there’s equally much to be said for trying a recipe more than once.
As for the puddin’, it’s true that the simplest things in life are the best. Sadly, some of the simplest things are also the naughtiest! This toffee sauce is all butter, sugar and heavy cream. I’d like to say go easy on it but it’s not possible. For maximum enjoyment, the pudding must be literally swimming in toffee sauce.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the cake:150g / 5 oz dates, pitted and chopped (approx 10 dates) 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 250ml / 9 fl oz hot water 60g / 2 ½ oz butter, soft 60g / 2 ½ oz caster sugar 2 large eggs 150g / 5 0z / 1¼ cups self-raising flour For the toffee sauce: 200g / 7 oz butter 400g / 14 oz brown sugar 1 Vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out 250ml / 9 fl oz heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat the oven to 175C / 350F. Grease an 8″ cake tin.
2. Cut up the dates into small pieces, removing the stones in the middle. Put into a small bowl with the bicarb. of soda and cover with the hot water. Stir well and leave to sit for 10mins.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Switch to a wooden spoon. Add the flour gradually, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl until completely mixed in.
5. Add the dates and all of the water and stir gently to combine. You will have a very runny, sloppy batter.
6. Bake in the oven for 30mins, until the cake is golden and spongey. Allow to cool for 10mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
7. To make the toffee sauce, melt the butter gently in a medium-sized saucepan over a low heat. Add the brown sugar, cream and split vanilla pod + seeds. Stir to combine. Increase heat slightly, stirring the mixture continuously until the cream has mixed in. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 5mins, until the sauce has thickened nicely.
8. Drown a slice of pudding in the toffee sauce and top with vanilla ice-cream.