Thursday, November 18, 2010

sticky toffee pudding

my two best finds in england?
sticky toffee pudding
becky is a brit and a cherished friend
she is also whip smart and has a laugh that fills a room
i was reminded of that last week
hubster and i met up with becky
 for lunch whilst in london
such a treat!

i was also reminded of 
the first time i'd eaten sticky toffee pudding
it was becky's birthday
and i had strong-armed my way into a reservation
at the, then, most popular spot in town
the ivy
i might have insinuated that i was a food writer
i can't remember
it was 10 years ago
and not entirely a lie
my diary is loaded with food far back as the 6th grade
i have since eaten sticky toffee pudding hundreds of times 
but none have been as good
the ivy didn't invent it
but they sure did perfect it
i have made a few additions to their recipe along the way
that give it a bit of a kick
 more modern flavor, if you will
but it is them
and becky
that i have to thank
for i was 1 small fib away
from never knowing the beauty of sticky toffee pudding

for my final, in culinary school
i made sticky toffee pudding into a composed dessert
with bourbon hard sauce
cocoa nib tuile
all wrapped in a 
caramelized sugar cage
which was beautiful and earned me high marks
but way too fussy 
for every day enjoyment
if you want those recipes--just ask
for now
i think the 3 steps for this
is enough to pass time
this is not a complicated dessert
just a bit time consuming
sticky toffee pudding
(printable recipe)
i am giving you the original recipe with my additions in blue
for the date puree
375g stoned dates
375ml water
1/2 inch knob of peeled ginger kept whole
simmer the dates and ginger in the water over low heat about 15 minutes until they are very soft and the water has almost evaporated. remove the knob of ginger and discard. process the remaining water and dates until very smooth
for the toffee sauce
640 ml heavy cream
340 g caster (granulated) sugar
130 g liquid glucose (optional)
130 g unsalted butter
generous pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
pour half the cream, sugar, glucose (if using), butter and salt into a thick-bottomed pan and mix well.  bring the sauce to a boil, stirring with wooden spoon, and continue to boil until it is golden brown.  remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly. whisk in the remaining cream and vanilla. set aside
for the sponge
130 g unsalted butter--room temperature
375 g dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
450 g strong plain flour (bread flour)
10 g baking powder
3 g baking soda
3 g kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
grease and line a baking tin measuring approximately 30x24x6cm, with parchment paper. sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, clove,ginger and cardamom.  in a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  add eggs one at a time, do not allow the mixture to separate. if it does, add a bit of flour to bind it back together. add vanilla. scrape the sides of the bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth.  fold in flour mixture until smooth.  add the warm date puree and mix well.  spread in prepared tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes at 350. use a cake tester to ensure you do not overbake.
to assemble
once cooled, remove the cake from the tin and trim the edges.  slice horizontally into 3 and reassemble in the baking tin, spreading two thirds of the sauce between layers. just before you are ready to serve, place the cake back in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes, then cut into equal servings.  top with remaining toffee sauce. you can serve with softly whipped cream, creme fraiche, soured cream or ice cream.

**you can also make these into cupcakes. bake as normal and before they are completely cooled, poke holes in them and pour in the toffee sauce. allow it to seep in and pool on top.  serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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