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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet Treats Saturday: Sticky Toffee Pudding

I meant to make this during the holidays but I never had the time.  Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  When I can make it to the UK, I try to enjoy this as much as possible as you just don't find it anywhere around the California Bay Area.  It is pretty easy to make though, but best served fresh out of the oven and warm.  I think it's a good excuse to host a dinner party.  So that's just what I did...

We had our first St. Patrick's Day performance last Friday so I made a light dinner for some of my Irish dancer friends before we headed out to the venue.  This dinner consisted of potato soup, some brown bread (also featured earlier this week), and for dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Gooey goodness...

I made the pudding itself before everyone arrived, and heated up the caramel sauce just as they were arriving.  By the time we were finished with dinner, everything was at the perfect serving temperature.

The recipe I used for this Sticky Toffee Pudding was a new one to me, but was by far easier than some I made in the past.  You only have to heat the dates for a few minutes and they're pretty much ready to go.  Some I've done before required over 30 minutes of cooking, so it was a nice, quick alternative.

I love this dessert because although it has dates, you would never know it.  It's impossible to get my husband to eat fruits and veggies sometimes, but he said he would gladly consume this and count it towards his fruit intake.

Everyone that came for dinner was asking for the recipe afterwards, which I take as a sign of success.  Now the hubby is begging me to make it again.

From Chow.com
For the cake:
1/2 pound dates, pitted and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the cake:
. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 8 (6-ounce) ramekins with butter and flour; set aside. (I used 7 but 3 of my ramekins were slightly larger)
. Combine dates, water, and baking soda in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.

Not exactly pretty, but this is the dates mixture after it's reached a boil before adding it to the batter.

. Place salt and flour in a medium bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer over high heat for a water bath.
. Combine butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
. Add vanilla extract, then beat in eggs one at a time, just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in date mixture until well combined, then stir in flour mixture until just incorporated (don’t overmix).
. Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins and set them in a roasting pan or baking dish (you will likely need to use both a 13-by-9-inch dish and an 8-by-8-inch dish to fit them all). Pour simmering water into the bottom of the baking dishes until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Very carefully place the baking dishes on the center rack of the oven. Bake until the center of each cake is just set and a cake tester inserted into the middle of each comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the toffee sauce.

Batter in the ramekin water bath ready to go in the oven

For the toffee sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the toffee sauce:
. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add brown sugar and vanilla extract or seeds, stir once, and heat until bubbling and the color of maple syrup, about 5 minutes.
. Carefully add cream in a slow stream while stirring, and cook until the sauce bubbles up and increases in volume, about 2 minutes; remove from heat.
Finishing and Serving:

Cooling before removing from the ramekins and adding caramel sauce.

. When the cakes are finished, remove the ramekins from the oven and place on a cooling rack to come to room temperature. Once the cakes are cool, run a knife around the perimeter of each and invert to remove from the ramekins, then place upright on a serving plate. Serve the cakes at room temperature or slightly warmed, covered in warm toffee sauce.

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  1. Melinda5:13 PM

    That looks scrumptious! Definitely printing out that one. :)

  2. Oh man... This looks too amazing. I've always wanted to try sticky toffee pudding. It just seems so...deliciously British. Makes me think of Jamie Oliver or Nigella. I'll definitely be trying this one. I bet it could be really good with other dried fruit, I'm thinking dried cherries could work well. Thanks so much! Great blog!

  3. this looks so yummy!
    i love ooey gooey goodness!

  4. These sound absolutely delicious! I'm sure the dates make this extra tasty. Tnx for sharing! :)

  5. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I have never made this but I just know it is going to be divine!! If you get a sec, pop on over to Foodie Friday and link up! Oh, and I found you on Night Owl Crafting


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