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Y O U M U S T M A K E T H I S D E S S E R T……..T O D A Y.
Sticky toffee pudding is a deliciously decadent dessert. This is really more of a cake than what you’re probably envisioning as a creamy pudding.
“Pudding” has origins as an English food, with “pudding” referring to either sweet or savory dishes that are steamed or boiled. Sticky Toffee Pudding is neither steamed nor boiled, however, but rather it is baked in a water bath.
Don’t let the water bath baking deter you from making this wonderful dessert. As incredible as it tastes, it is also incredibly easy to make (you can find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post).
Chances are you have most of the ingredients on hand already — flour, eggs, brown sugar, butter, baking soda, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract. The only ingredient you most likely need to purchase are whole pitted dates.
You don’t need to buy exotic, expensive dates for this recipe. The most common type of dates you see in most grocery stores are from California. This is the type of dates I use. You can use dried dates for this recipe, but if you can find them, use moist, undried dates. A 10-ounce bag of dates is the perfect amount for this recipe (or about 1 1/2 cups of chopped dates).
If dried dates are all you can find, don’t worry, you can still use those. To rehydrate them, place the dried dates in a bowl and cover it completely with boiling water. Let the dates sit in the hot water for 15-20 minutes until they plump up; drain the water once rehydrated. For added flavor, cover the dried dates with rum or your favorite liquor (brandy is good too) instead of boiling water. Heat the liquor for about 90 seconds in the microwave then pour the hot liquid over the dried dates.
Chop the dates into small pieces. You don’t have to cut them too small; I actually like the little bit of chewiness in the cake that you get with larger pieces.
Place the chopped dates into a small pot, along with a bit of water and baking soda. If you soaked dried dates in some type of liquor, save a half cup of the soaking liquid and discard the rest; place the soaking liquid/liquor into the pot instead of water (see my recipe below).
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat off once the mixture begins to boil. Leave the dates in the pot to cool. If using dried dates, this step also helps to fully rehydrate them.
While the dates cool, prepare the cake batter. First off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, cream butter and brown sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. You can use a hand-held mixer to do this.
Add a couple of large eggs and a some vanilla extract to the bowl.
Mix until creamy.
Set aside the mixer now. You don’t want to overmix this batter. The rest of the mixing will be done using a large mixing spoon or spatula.
Add the cooled dates to the bowl (add all the liquid in the pot as well).
Stir gently, just until the dates are mixed into the batter. The batter will be very thin at this point.
Place the flour and salt in a small bowl. Use a whisk to mix the flour and salt together then add the mixture to the batter. Fold the flour into the batter; stop once you incorporate the dry mixture with the wet. Don’t overmix.
Spread the batter into a small baking dish (I use a 2-quart, 11×7″ rectangular baking pan).
Now this is important — place the cake pan in a water bath.
To create a water bath, place the cake pan into a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it comes half-way up the side of the cake pan.
If you don’t have a large pan to create a water bath, don’t worry. Instead, place another baking pan half-full of hot water beneath the cake as it bakes. The purpose of the water bath is to create moisture in the oven as well as to create a milder heat source than the direct heat of the oven so that the “pudding” can cook without cracking on top.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Because not all ovens are alike, your oven may cook faster or slower than others. To determine if the cake is done, press the middle of the cake with your fingers (be careful — you’re only pressing the cake really quick so you shouldn’t burn yourself, but be careful nonetheless). The cake should feel firm when you press it. Additionally, the top of the cake should be a rich brown color.
Leave the cake in the water bath to cool.
Prepare the sticky toffee sauce while the cake cools.
In a small sauce pan, melt some butter. Add brown sugar and vanilla extract to the melted butter.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, cooking until the sugar is completely melted.
Stir in the heavy cream.
Reduce the heat to low; simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes to thicken it slightly. Remove the sauce from the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Use a skewer or chopstick to poke holes all over the top of the cake (it’s okay if the cake is still warm at this point).
Pour about 3/4 to 1 cup of the warm, sticky toffee sauce over the top of the cake, filling all of the holes.
Place any remaining toffee sauce in a small bowl to drizzle over the cake when serving.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or and more sticky toffee sauce drizzled all over. ENJOY!
A scoop of vanilla ice cream is delicious with this too!
Mmmm mmmm good!
- 10 ounces dates, chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Place the chopped dates in a small sauce pan, along with the water and baking soda.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then remove from the heat. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract; mix until creamy.
- Fold in the prepared dates, including any liquid in the pot.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add to the butter-date mixture. Fold the flour mixture into the batter; mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into a 2-quart, 11x7" baking pan.
- Place the pan into a large roasting pan. Add hot water to the roasting pan to create a water wath. The water should come halfway up the side of the cake pan.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for one hour.
- Place the butter in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook until the butter melts.
- Add the brown sugar and vanilla to the pan. Cook until the sugar melts.
- Stir in the heavy cream; reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce slightly. Remove from the heat.
- Poke holes all over the top of the cooled cake.
- Pour ¾ to 1 cup of warm toffee sauce over the top of the cake. Set aside to cool completely.
- Place any remaining sauce in a small bowl.