Sprucies In The Kitchen

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Bridget's Sticky Toffee Pudding

Okay, this is definitely one for the "un-fair" category, if by that it's meant a sinfully rich dessert, posted in a fasting season just to make everybody salivate.... Perfect for the cold, wintery nights during the Festive seasons.

When I lived in Manchester, England, I always thought it was strange that supper was called tea and dessert was called "pudding." As in, "what's for pudding?" And "supper" was tea and toast at 10 o'clock! I lived at a fairly traditional British theological college and survived almost two years of the cuisine in the dining room, the highlight of which was always this dessert. The cook, a jovial fifties-ish lady named Bridget, was constantly cajoling me to become a Pentecostal minister, and tempted me with her cooking. Yet no matter what turned out to be for "pudding," it was then immediately drowned in both A) hot custard and B) thick cream. I didn't have the gumption to become a Pentecostal, but I did manage to get her sticky toffee pudding recipe. The recipe is easy to make. Be sure to serve it warm out of the oven.


-unsalted butter for baking dish;
-1 cup and 1 tablespoon all purpose flour;
-1 teasoon baking powder;
-3/4 cup pitted dates;
-7 tablespoons unsalted butter;
-3/4 cup sugar;
-1 egg, lightly beaten;
-1 teaspoon baking soda;
-1 teaspoon vanilla;
-1-1/4 cup boiling water;
-1/4 cup brandy;
-5 tablespoons brown sugar (or treacle), packed;
-2 tablespoons heavy cream

whipped cream for topping


Heat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8x6" baking dish.

Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper or into a bowl; set aside. Chop the dates fine and soak in the boiling water, vanilla, and brandy combination, add baking soda.

Beat 4 tablespoons of butter and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg along with a little of the flour mixture; beat for 1 minute. Beat in remaining flour mixture.

Add dates/brandy/vanilla/boiling water mixture to batter, beating until well blended. Pour batter into a prepared baking dish; bake until set and well browned on top, 35- 40 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack.

Heat broiler. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar (or treacle) and the 2 tablespoons heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat to simmering; simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; pour topping over pudding. Place pudding in broiler, about 4 inches from source of heat; broil until top bubbly, about 1 minute.

Serve warm with custard and/or whipped cream.



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Wed. Dec. 14, 09:14:00 p.m. PST  

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