February 2, 2015

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING (WITHOUT DATES)

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The other weekend I was feeling the need to bake something.  Not just any old thing but something really indulgent and wicked.  The post Christmas abstinence from baking and sweet stuff had caught up with me and I was having serious withdrawal symptoms.

However, I couldn’t be bothered to drag myself to the shops in the horrid weather – we were out walking our dog Lulu when I announced my urge to Nick and there was a bitterly cold wind stinging our faces.  Thinking about what we had in our cupboards at home that I could use, I mentioned sticky toffee pudding, something I have never actually made before, and Nick’s eyes lit up.  He often orders it when we go for a meal out so I knew he would be pleased.  I then said “I think we have a pack of chopped dates somewhere” and he looked rather less pleased.  He doesn’t like dates, apparently.  Something else I hadn’t known about him for the last twenty years!

Now I’m pretty sure that most sticky toffee puddings do contain dates but he assured me that the one he normally gets at our favourite restaurant absolutely doesn’t.  Hmmm…….  Maybe the dates are so squidgy that he doesn’t realise they’re there.  Anyway, I found myself consulting my cookbooks and eventually the internet for a recipe for a dateless sticky toffee pudding and found this one on the allrecipes website.

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I followed the recipe exactly – it wasn’t difficult – and ended up with a nice sponge over which was poured a lovely toffee sauce.  The sauce was delicious but overall the pudding was just ok.  Not sticky enough for either of us and disappointing having read some of the reviews of the recipe.

Then I read further down the reviews and spotted that someone else had found a similar recipe in a blog here but with an interesting difference. 

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Instead of serving the sauce with the pudding, on removing the sponge from the oven you had to prick it all over, smother it with the sauce rather like a lemon drizzle cake, and let it seep into the cake.

Now this was much more like it!  What a transformation from the rather dull to the incredibly wicked and indulgent!  It was very, very sweet but totally gorgeous and I will most definitely be making it again – but not too soon………

Ingredients

For the sponge

190g plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

120g dark soft brown sugar

120ml milk

2 eggs

80g butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the sauce

120g butter

200g dark soft brown sugar

250ml double cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C / 150° fan.  Butter a suitable baking tin or dish, approx 21 x 18 cm.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.  Add the sugar and mix well.

In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter, until a light frothy foam appears on top.

Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix together until smooth and well blended.

Pour into the baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes until the the sponge is firm and golden brown.

While the sponge is baking, make the sauce by putting all the ingredients into a large saucepan and heating gently, stirring all the time, until smooth and dark brown.  Set aside to cool slightly until the sponge is done.

When the sponge is cooked, remove it from the oven and prick all over with a skewer or fork, going right through to the bottom of the cake.  Then pour the toffee sauce over it to allow it to seep into the sponge.  There will be plenty of sauce left over to serve separately with the pudding.

Serve warm with the reserved toffee sauce, plus cream or ice cream for that extra indulgence – might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb as my dear mother used to say !!

Serves 6 generously, would easily stretch to 8 servings.

10 comments:

  1. So interesting! I think your Nick doesn't realuse there are dates in his favourite pudding. I've made STP with dates and they virtually melt to nothing and I think an essentual ingredient, although as you've proved, perhaps we're all wrong. Xx

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    1. Dom, I have a cunning plan to sneak some dates into the next STP and see if he notices!

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  2. Dates are rubbish and should never be anywhere near STP! :-) I don't like dates either (although I've discovered that European dates are different to Australian dates and can be edible, although never necessary...)

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  3. I agree with Dom - I think your Nick just hasn't noticed that dates are in the STP - I've never made one without. I love the idea of letting the sauce seep in like that - bet it's delicious!

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  4. I love STP. This looks delicious Jean even minus its dates! Great idea to prick it all over to let the yummy sauce soak in. I agree with Dom too.

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  5. I've always made STP with dates but I'm happy to see that you don't need them to make a fine and tempting pudding. It's not that I don't like dates - I do, but I have been known to forget to buy any.

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    1. Phil, we recently returned to the restaurant where Nick usually orders STP and the owner confirmed that it does indeed have dates in it. In fact he obviously thought we were bonkers to have asked!
      Which confirms my original suspicion that the dates melt away into a delicious nothingness, so if I ever make STP again I will include them as I'm sure they must add something lovely to the flavour.

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  6. Ooh, that sounds super gorgeous and very indulgent. I have to say the only sticky toffee puds I've ever made are with dates.

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  7. I made this a couple of weeks ago and it is easy and delicious. I added a tablespoonful of treacle to the cake mixture. I've returned to this page again because I have to have it again .... as soon as possible!!!! Thank you for the recipe.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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