Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Have you ever had sticky toffee pudding? You can order it at Claim Jumper and in my opinion it is the best thing on the menu. This year, I decided to make sticky toffee pudding for our Smith Christmas celebration...and as you can see from the photo it was a HUGE hit! This is really not difficult to make but it does take a little time. It is so delicious you could eat it any day or you could save it for a big event but don't skip it. Do you hate dates? Yeah I mean who eats dates? I've never had them before but they make this cake absolutely amazing.

I did not vary from Smitten Kitchen's recipe at all but I am forever worried that someone's blog will be taken down and then I will no longer have the recipe and then...I just might cry.  

Okay, well actually I varied it a tiny bit - I used Muscavado dark brown sugar for the sauce and we served this also with whipped cream AND ice cream and in my opinion the ice cream was the best.  Seriously, make this tomorrow. And also you can find already pitted dried dates at Sprouts in a 3/4 lb package which, incidentally is EXACTLY what you need!

3/4 pound dried dates - get them pre pitted to save time
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Butterscotch Sauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To serve
Unsweetened whipped cream
Vanilla Ice Cream

Make the cake: Roughly chop dates and place them in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over them and stir in the baking soda. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 30 minutes. (I covered it with a towel and it was fine)
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugars. Whisk in eggs, then salt. lend date-water mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the flour, then date puree. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Make the sauce: Combine butter, cream, sugar and vanilla in a larger saucepan than you think you’ll need over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly. If you have to reheat the sauce, the butter will be all separated. Bring it back up to a simmer and whisk for about 5 minutes until combined. Then, if you're serving buffet style, consider putting the sauce in a fondue pot or something because it hardens really fast. Also, this is a great chance to use really hard brown sugar because it melts!

To serve: Cut the cake into squares warm or cold. Drizzle each slice with toffee sauce and top with a dollop of whipped cream and/or ice cream. 

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