I’ve been asked for this recipe many times by friends who’ve been to the UK and are feeling nostalgic for the sweetly divine experience they’ve had as a result of finding this on a menu.
So, from the Land of Hope and Glory, I’d like to present our most famous, mouthwatering and comforting dessert…….English Sticky Toffee Pudding.
It’s the perfect dessert to follow a Sunday roast or whatever you traditionally have at the weekend. I think it’s fabulous at any time but it’s not exactly low in calories so I only make it on special occasions.
I’ve mentioned this before but in case you missed it; over here in the US, the term ‘pudding’ refers to something you’d feed to people without teeth or who are convalescing. But in good old Blighty, we use it to describe anything that falls within the US ‘dessert’ category. So, ‘pudding’ it is.
Note: you can forgo the pudding part and just make the sauce if you love a warm and fudgy topping for vanilla ice cream.
ENGLISH STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
4 oz (100g) of unsalted butter at room temp, divided in half
6 oz (150g) of fine white sugar
2 large eggs
6 oz (150g) of chopped dates (I buy medjool dates, pop out the stone and then measure the weight before chopping)
One can of evaporated milk
¼ pint (150ml) of water
1 teaspoon (5ml) of baking soda/bicarbonate
6 oz (150g) of all purpose/plain flour (or self raising flour, omitting the baking powder)
1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) of baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) of pure vanilla essence
7 oz (175g) of soft brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C)
Butter a 2.5 pint (1.4Ltr) baking dish.
Beat half of the butter with the white sugar until light and fluffy then gradually beat in the eggs.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the chopped dates, half the can of evaporated milk (you’ll need the other half for the sauce) and ¼ pint (150ml) of water.
Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda/bicarbonate. Stand back.
Sift the flour together with the baking powder and fold this into the creamed butter and sugar. Add the date mixture and vanilla, combining everything well – then pour into the buttered baking dish.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan combine the remaining 2 oz (50g) of butter, evaporated milk and soft brown sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is completely melted. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes until it thickens a bit.
Serve the pudding warm, smothered in toffee sauce and with some crème fraiche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream on the side.
Your challenge will be in resisting eating the whole thing yourself – however, it is extremely rich so small portions are best. I like it with crème fraiche or sour cream; they compliment the sweetness of the pudding.