December 21, 2020
There’s a couple of things about Sticky Toffee Pudding that you should know. First, it’s not pudding. It’s cake. In England they use the word pudding for dessert. Second, do not tell the kids (or your partner) that it’s made with dates! They will not eat it because they think they do not like dates. But really it’s the dates that give it its sweet yumminess. Third, you will probably have to double the recipe because it is so delicious that one is probably not enough. I mean, it should be, but my eaters love it so much that they insist that there better be leftovers for breakfast.
The original recipe was given to me by my friend Sasha. It came by way of London, as a photograph over What’s App. It was from one of those cookbooks where everyone gives a favorite recipe or two and they get their name printed next to the title. A charity usually puts these books together; school groups, synagogues, churches. They are always fun to read and see what other people are actually making in their own kitchens. This particular recipe had not one, but three names next to it. Three women handed in the same recipe! Thank you to Talya Kaplan, Adele Manning, and Estelle Waterman. I changed your recipe a bit but you three had the right idea.
Note: Dates can be frozen. So when you see them, stash them in your freezer until you are ready to make this. If you leave them on the counter with the fruit bowl you will slowly eat each one from the package. And when you finally go to make this, there will be no dates left. I promise. You will thank me.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the cake
4 tablespoons (60 grams) butter, unsalted
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup +2 tablespoons (150 grams) unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (150 grams) pitted dates
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Sauce
1 cup (200 grams) of brown sugar
5 tablespoons (70 grams) butter, unsalted
10 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat oven to 325º F
Prepare a 8” x 8” oven safe dish or a 9 “ pie dish with cooking spray.
Pour the water in a 2 quart pot and bring to a boil. Add the dates. Bring to a boil again and then take off the heat. Add the baking soda and leave to cool. The mixture will bubble and the baking soda will soften and break up the dates. Add the vanilla extract. When cool, smush the dates in the water with the back of wooden spoon to break them up into smaller pieces.
At the same time, in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Add the date mixture and mix well with a spoon.
Scrape down the bowl and give the mixture a good stir, making sure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven make the sauce. Heat the brown sugar and butter on low making sure it does not burn. When bubbling, take mixture off the heat and add the cream, stirring until combined. Add the vanilla extract.
With the back of a wooden spoon, make holes in the cake. Pour the sauce over the cake letting it fill the holes. Scoop onto plates with a ladle.
Serve warm or at room temperature.