One of my British favorites....Sticky Toffee Pudding

One of my family's very favorite desserts is Sticky toffee pudding.  It is a British steamed dessert consisting of a very moist sponge cake, made with finely chopped dates or prunes, covered in a toffee sauce and often served with a vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream It is considered a modern British ‘classic’, alongside Jam Roly-Poly and Spotted Dick (You read right).

The dessert's origins are considered a "mystery" according to the gastronomic journal, Saveur; however, the magazine's story is that is was developed and served in a Lake District Hotel by chef Francis Coulson in 1960. But, we had it at home in Aberdeen in the 1940's! Another story claims that the original concept for the dessert was from a pub in the South of England (circa 1907).

Now to the good part;   Aberdeenshire also has claims regarding the origins of the dessert. The Udny Arms Hotel in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire has claimed that it invented the pudding years earlier than anyone else has been serving it, and those living in the surrounding area cite the hotel as the birthplace of the dessert. The Saplinbrae House Hotel in Peterhead, also in Aberdeenshire, has claims of it being originated there, long before it was being sold to the public, and of it being given to people living in the house at the time. In any case, chef and hotelier Francis Coulson is credited with having introduced and refined the dessert to the general public, making his recipe available to all who asked.(Sourced from Wiki)


For Sauce:
1 cup heavy cream

2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except pecans and cook until butter is melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in nuts.

For Cake:

3/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Thoroughly coat 8 6oz. molds or ramekins with Baker’s Joy. (You can also use 12 - 14 4 oz. molds or an 8 or 9” square baking dish.)

Combine dates, baking soda and boiling water and mix.

Combine flour and baking powder.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla and half of flour mixture, then date mixture. Blend in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared molds. Do not fill molds more than half full.

Place filled molds on cookie sheet and bake until cake rises, about 25 minutes for 6 oz. molds and 20 minutes for smaller ones. About 35 minutes for large dish. Cool slightly and then turn out onto jelly roll pan, top with a spoonful of sauce and return to oven for five minutes.

Cakes may be frozen without sauce. To serve, simply thaw, add sauce and bake for 5 minutes or so until warm. You may also run then under the broiler for a minute or two to give a really sticky top!

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