Sticky Toffee Pudding


Pudding Cakes
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole dates , pitted, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces), light or dark
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

Toffee Sauce
1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (14 ounces), light or dark
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
vanilla gelato

(Our Sponsors)
Ok Ok, so it's not "pudding". The Brits call a moist cake a pudding. So, it's more like a cake. But a really MOIST cake with a gooey toffee sauce. What's not to like? This recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated, note that Chef David Lebovitz has a great add-in as well.
Servings: 10
adapted from Cook's Illustrated Sept 2008
Pudding Cakes:

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 20 fluted individual cake pans with oil. Set prepared pans in a hotel pan. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.

2. Combine half of dates with water and baking soda in a non-metal measuring cup (dates should be submerged beneath water) and soak for 5 minutes. Drain dates, reserving liquid, and transfer to medium bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in another medium bowl.

3. Process remaining dates and brown sugar in food processor until just blended, about five 1-second pulses. Add reserved soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla and process until smooth, about 5 seconds. With food processor running, pour melted butter through feed tube in steady stream. Transfer this mixture to bowl with softened dates.

4. Gently stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined and date pieces are evenly dispersed. Distribute batter evenly among prepared pans. Fill the hotel pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of pans, making sure not to splash water in them. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, crimping edges to seal. Bake pudding cakes until puffed and small holes appear on surface, about 40 minutes. Immediately remove pans from water bath and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and wrap each in plastic to store.

5. Note: When wrapped, the cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Toffee Sauce:

1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture looks puffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly pour in cream, whisk just to combine, reduce heat, and simmer until frothy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

To the plate:

1. Unwrap the plastic from the cake and place on a sheet pan. Place a cake in the oven at 350F and heat for 5-6 minutes. Pour toffee sauce over cake to cover and make a slight puddle. Serve with one scoop vanilla ice gelato.

Chef David Lebovitz suggests adding a handful (about 1/4 cup) of chopped candied ginger to the cake mixture for an added treat!

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