Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I made sticky toffee pudding last night. I figure if I end up with this job and the chef wants to make it, I should at least have made it and eaten it once.

There were two things wrong with this endeavor: for one, I can't find a recipe in any of my cookbooks that I trust. And for another, I've never eaten it...meaning I have nothing to compare it to and don't know how good it really is.

In any case, I made it, and since I'm too lazy to look for my cake pan I grabbed the bundt pan in easy reach (shame on me). I also made a toffee sauce to go with it, and because I didn't use a recipe I don't have one to post. Again, shame on me! Not using a recipe is the biggest baking taboo. But I think it's pretty good anyway...I put brown sugar in a pot with a little water, let it caramelize, and added some light cream. The consistency isn't as good as when I do that with regular granulated sugar. Next time I'll actually use a recipe but it works for now.

I decided to go with a recipe from Food Network. In the end, I had a nice, moist cake, and a way to eat dates and actually enjoy them!

Next time, I'm also going to try adding a little rum to the sauce. Also some lightly whipped cream would go well - and I'd like to try folding Bailey's caramel into it. I also evidently need some white would look much better! Next time, folks.
The recipe:
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates (I actually had a box of chopped, pitted dates, which made my life much easier)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the dates fine. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl of electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool.

This is a traditional recipe, but it's a cake that you can easily mess around with the flavors - instead of dates add dried cranberries or blueberries. Like it? Add it!

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