Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

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Sweet Christmas Homemade Peppermints, Sugar Cake, ChocolateIn the British Isles, this dessert is as ubiquitous on restaurant menus as cheesecake is over here. But Americans have been slow to warm up to Sticky Toffee Pudding, and I think it’s merely that we’ve never had it, because this dessert has got it going on! It’s not one of those curious, amusing British dishes with names like Spotted Dog or anything with treacle in it. Instead, it’s a rich, super-moist cake that’s drowned in a pool of warm caramel sauce—really, what’s not to like? Don’t let the dates put you off. They add moisture and a caramel undertone to the finished cake. It’s overkill to pour a little heavy cream or dollop vanilla ice cream or whipped cream over the top, but don’t let that stop you.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


For the pudding
  • 1½ cups chopped dates
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
For the sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Put the dates in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Stir in the baking soda and leave the mixture to soak until cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 2-quart baking dish. Cream the butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing each one in well before adding the next.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, then sift in half the flour and the baking powder and mix just until combined. Add the dates and their soaking water and mix, then add the remaining flour and mix just until combined. Smooth the batter into the prepared dish and bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. While the cake bakes, put the cream, brown sugar, and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Serve spoonfuls of the warm pudding with a generous helping of caramel sauce poured over each serving and a dollop of whipped cream.

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