Since March, we’ve been through just a world of new recipes. It’s given us time to try more skill- and time-intensive dishes at home, and things we’d just never otherwise do. The boys have grown accustomed to me saying “okay, new recipe, so tell me what you really think” withholding any sensitivity to something not being just absolutely amazing. I keep a couple of Pinterest boards, one for things to try this week, and another of recipes I’ve tried that have made the mark and can be added to the repertoire. Those that don’t make the cut just get deleted and never move to the other folder. This one is a keeper.
Anyway, early on, we were going over fabulous restaurant experiences. Something that I’ve ordered a few times and love though I wouldn’t have made at home (because dates) is sticky toffee pudding.
Here at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris in Las Vegas (this is from a 2017 visit) is sticky toffee pudding, their sweet pudding cake and brown sugar toffee, brown butter ice cream
This one is from a 2015 visit.
sticky toffee pudding at Balise (ah, I miss Balise!), in 2016
Nigella has this STP recipe that’s made whole, in a baking dish, and I’m thinking: is this the English cousin to Texas Sheet Cake? Making icing while the cake/pud is in the oven, then pouring it over while still hot? Maybe.
The recipe we chose to draw from was based on this one at Food & Wine
Following, what we did, with our mods. Best to read over the whole thing first to decide whether to use (six half-cup) ramekins or a muffin tin:
Ingredients for the toffee sauce:
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 stick salted butter
½ cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
6 oz dates, pitted, and we did use Medjool (seven of them)
¾ cup water
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tablespoons softened butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine 1-1/4 cup of the cream, plus the butter, corn syrup (though I used dark, light would be fine) and the granulated sugar in a saucepan. This part doesn’t even require a thermometer: simply bring to a boil and then bring down to medium/low until as the F&W recipe mentions “a deep amber caramel forms, about 40 minutes”. At that point, it’s time to add the rest of the cream and strain it through a sieve into a bowl. Set aside.
These are the Medjool dates — in the produce section
To prepare the dates, just simmer them in the 3/4 c water in a small saucepan until most of the water is absorbed. The dates will be soft. This took closer to 20 minutes.
To be fair, so many of these pictures are just ugly. Here comes another.
Move the dates and any leftover water from the pan to the Cuisinart, and blitz until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350*
The F&W recipe uses ramekins, but I decided to simply use a muffin tin.
In one bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the Kitchenaid, combine the butter with brown sugar until completely incorporated. At that point, in goes the egg and vanilla, then the date puree:
Then everything altogether in the Kitchenaid, just until incorporated.
Spoon the batter evenly into either ramekins or muffin tin. At 350* these will bake for approx 20 minutes until they’re set in the middle. Let them cool for a few minutes.
If you’re using a ramekin, the F&W recipe suggests to trim the tops of the cakes with the rims of the ramekins, but I skipped that altogether. In either case, the next step is to remove the little cakes from their baking vessels. Cut each in half horizontally.
Now, with a paper towel, remove any crumbs/residue from the ramekin/muffin tins and then spoon a tablespoon of the toffee sauce into each. Place the bottom layers of the cakes back on top of the toffee sauce now, cut side up, then another tablespoon of the sauce, then put on the top of the cakes, and another tablespoon of sauce on top of that. Everything is just as it was, you’ve simply got toffee sauce now on the bottom, in the middle, and on top of the little cakes. Bake again for 10 minutes; the sauce should be seen bubbling around the edges:
The beauty of the ramekins is that you can simply invert them on a plate and voila! Using the muffin tins, you’ll want to use a large spoon and do a little transfer to the serving plate. Scoop up any remaining toffee sauce and put that over the top.
It’s great with ice cream or fresh whipped cream, but we went in au naturale.
Spoiler alert: it’s really ugly but nobody cares because it’s so delicious!
Just because, a few pics from Balise, which served a really fine sticky toffee pudding. And omelets:
And plenty of Butch Anthony Intertwangalism works:
Whether you try the recipe with the mods I did, or the original from F&W (it get so many great ratings!), hope you really, really enjoy it. xoxo!