Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The best sticky toffee pudding ever?

My dad rarely cooks anything, not even a boiled egg, however when I was young he and I decided we wanted to find the best bread and butter pudding recipe and we took it in turns to chose and make them. We must have made 7+ over one winter. He liked a Robert Carrier one best, whereas my favourite was a Gary Rhodes recipe, probably as it was sweeter.

A few months ago we were away for the weekend and the deal included dinner at the hotel. After dinner we split a sticky toffee pudding, which we both fought over the last scraps and agreed it was one of the best we'd tried.

The next night my other half disappeared downstairs, leaving me in the hotel room. I wondered what he was up to until he returned with two dishes of the sticky toffee pudding (he had leant from the night before that one wasn't enough!).

The taste stayed with me and since I have been thinking that I should try and make the best ever sticky toffee pudding. When my Saturday treat night landed on a weekend where we were doing major landscaping to the garden and lots of physical effort I decided it was time to give the first recipe a go. Unlike the 7+ attempts last time, I think this time the first recipe I chose might well be The One! Sticky and toffee, rich and sweet without being cloying. We all agreed it was one to have again.

It was from a Simon Hopkinson recipe. I did 1.5 times the recipe and used a 9'' cake tin.

I started by lining a tin. I used two strips and over lapped the edge to make it easy to lift the sponge out after baking.

I then finely chopping the dates and then soaking them in boiling water until the water was lukewarm

I then place the sugar, eggs and butter (as ever I used Stork margarine rather than butter) in the bowl of my food processor, followed by the flour and some Ndali vanilla powder (my new go to rather than vanilla bean paste).

Once the dates were lukewarm I also added them

And blended thoroughly

I poured the mixture into the tin and baked for about 45 mins

The next step was to make not one but two sauces.

Both were the same method - butter, dark brown sugar and double cream in a pan, stirred and heating and allowed it to come to the boil for a few minutes.

However, one was darker with more sugar and less cream which was poured over the top of the baked cake.

Once on top I popped it under the grill until it bubbled - and left it a bit too long as I got distracted!

The second sauce was lighter and had less sugar in and was used to pour around the pudding when it was served.

The recipe suggested serving it with double cream but I think a sticky toffee pudding is only a sticky toffee pudding if its served with custard!

I absolutely recommend you all try this recipe next time you want a treat.