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Sticky Toffee Pudding

December 24, 2011

What could be more Christmas than sticky toffee pudding?  I actually made this for a birthday, and I

sticky toffee pudding

am going to make it again at Christmas, but with a different recipe.  this recipe is amazing, but I’m trying one that makes a large pudding for a crowd, so I’ll let you know if it turns out as well as this one.  If you have a smaller party, this recipe is great because it makes 6 servings in little ramekins, which I love.  Be warned, the toffee sauce takes a while to make.  It’s not one you have to watch because it turns golden slowly, but it takes more like 1 1/4 hours than the 40 minutes it states.  Might depend on your stove, so keep an eye on it.  This recipe comes from Food & Wine and serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the toffee sauce

2 1/2 c heavy cream

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

1/2 c light corn syrup

1 c granulated sugar

For the cake:

6 ounces pitted dates, preferably Medjool (about 7 dates)

3/4 c water

3/4 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

Pinch of salt

4 T unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of the cream with the butter, corn syrup and sugar and bring to a boil.  Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 40 minutes (1 1/4 hour for me).  Carefully whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl (I didn’t do this- it was perfect as is!)

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the water over moderately low heat until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and any liquid to a food processor and puree until very smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly butter six 1/2-cup ramekins.  In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the date puree.  At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients.  Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean; let cool slightly (mine took a few minutes less, so watch them).

Run a knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen the cakes.  Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a wire rack. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Wipe out the ramekins  (I skipped this too- was feeling lazy) and spoon 1 T of the toffee sauce into each. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers.  Spoon as much of the toffee sauce over the cakes as you can and spread evenly (you will still have sauce leftover, but serve it warm on the sides).  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling around the edges.

Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the insides of the ramekins; invert each pudding onto a dessert plate. (I just served them in the ramekins).  Rewarm the remaining toffee sauce and spoon some around the puddings. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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