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Monday, January 19, 2015

Chew on This | Sticky Toffee Pudding

I have found around this time of the year, during these cold, short, bleary days, that I have very conflicted food cravings. Maybe you do, as well? One day I'll want a light, fresh, citrus based meal. The next day, all I can fathom eating is something stick-to-your-ribs, warm and cozy. This new year is no different. In fact, my food cravings may be even more at odds.

You see, The Husband and I started off the new year taking a fabulous vacation to a tropical wonderland. So, when on a balmy island, all I wanted to partake in was balmy island food. Local fruits, vegetables, fish, and libations. Nothing heavy and everything crisp, fresh, and amazing. Now we're back home, back to the wintery cold and snow. So, when in frigid lands, I find I want to consume more comforting and toasty meals - for about five minutes - and then I'm off on a totally different eating tangent. Thus, my food yearnings are even more batty then usual.

Today, right now, the need for warmth and luxurious indulgence won out. Sticky Toffee Pudding it is. Brilliant! 


Here's our recipe:

Sticky Toffee Pudding
6 ounces Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 C water
1 t orange zest
1 1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
4 T butter, room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T honey
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350℉. Prepare an 8x11" cake pan by spraying with baking spray.

For the cake, in a small sauce pan combine the dates, water, and orange zest. Bring ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to sit while preparing the rest of the cake batter. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Stir to combine thoroughly. Now, in a mixing bowl, beat together your butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Finally, add in your vanilla, stirring to incorporate.

Before adding in your warm date mixture to the egg mixture, first mash your dates with a fork to smooth them out a bit. Now, add half of your flour mixture and half of your date mixture to the egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add the remaining date and flour mixtures to the batter and again, stir to combine. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs attached.

While the cake is baking, prepare your toffee sauce. In a sauce pan, combine the heavy cream, brown sugar, honey, and salt. Bring ingredients to a boil, while constantly stirring. Reduce to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken for the next 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. 

When the cake is done, remove from the oven and poke holes all over the cake using a cake dowel/sucker stick...whatever you can find to make small holes in the cake. Pour about half of your toffee sauce over the cake and allow it to soak in. When you're ready to serve, pour a bit of the sauce onto the plate and again over the cake. Serve with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!

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