sticky toffee pudding; reinvented.

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my last post on a sticky toffee pudding almost resigned to the idea that perfection had been attained. i say perfection because the recipe was from a site gloating in how-to-cook-the-perfect-everything. while there was a time i believed everything had to have a perfect version to it, with time also came wisdom to know the difference between perfection and excellence thereby paving way for pursuit of excellence instead.  so while perfection may not be attainable, we might just catch excellence along the way. i probably got you thinking why all the talk about perfection vs. excellence. it’s only because while i thought i had almost aced a good sticky toffee pudding, i realized i had bettered it with this.

ingredients

  • 225 grams wet dates (such as medjool), pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) hot coffee (1 cup boiling water mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder)
  • 1 1/2 (225 grams cup all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 85 grams unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (125 grams soft dark brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

toffee sauce

  • 1/2 cup (125 grams unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup (170 grams soft dark brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup (190 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9-inch pan with butter (a 9 inch square pan is fine too).
  2. in a small bowl, stir together the chopped dates and coffee and set aside. the coffee adds a nice level of depth to the cake, and you can barely taste it. but if you would prefer, use hot water instead. set aside.
  3. in another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  4. cream the butter and brown sugar together until creamy and light. you can use any kind of brown sugar you like. i prefer dark muscovado because it has a deep, richer flavor.
  5. gradually add in the eggs and vanilla and beat for several minutes.
  6. stir in 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by the date mixture, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.
  7. pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. pierce the cake multiple times using a skewer or chopstick. this ensures that the cake will absorb all of the toffee sauce.
  9. to prepare the toffee sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
  10. stir the mixture constantly until it melts and bring it to a boil. reduce the flame to medium-low and boil for around 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  11. add the salt, and you can also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract should you wish.
  12. pour the toffee sauce over the cake, reserving 1/2 cup for topping.

the pudding has a moist soft sponge-y texture and is delicious to say the least. the toffee sauce has a deep, rich flavour making the pudding incomplete without it. i like to serve my pudding with a generous drizzle of toffee sauce before warming it in short bursts in a microwave oven. it must be served warm, with a scoop of good old plain vanilla icecream, if you must. you may think this to be a rather sickishly saccharine dessert but it isn’t exceedingly so. the sauce keeps well in the refrigerator. so does the pudding. this makes a great winter dessert or one for a dark wet june monsoon afternoon. or a grey august melancholic monsoon night. you don’t really need a reason. gratifying, comforting, indulgent; my idea of hygge.

here’s a video of how-to, just in case. the recipe can also be found on the Martha Stewart site.

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