25 September 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding - A British Classic

Sticky Toffee Pudding / www.delightfulrepast.com

Sticky Toffee Pudding seems just the sort of thing to have been around for centuries, right? It is a British classic all right, but a modern British classic. There are those who will tell you it originated in Cumbria, others Lancashire, and still others Scotland or Canada. 

Despite some talk of it having been brought to Britain by a Canadian soldier during World War Two, the earliest publication date of a recipe seems to be 1971 in Britain. Since I have grandparents from both Cumbria and Lancashire, I'd be tempted to claim that connection, but they emigrated to Canada long before then and likely never had sticky toffee pudding. 

It can be baked in a cake tin and cut into squares or wedges for serving, but I prefer to make individual puddings. Since it is a very rich and sweet dessert (though my version might be less sweet than most), the standard-muffin-tin-size pudding makes a very satisfying portion. 

I love that it is something you can make a day or two ahead (probably even longer). Just place as many warm puddings as you will be serving in a baking dish; you can fit as many as 15 in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Spoon a tablespoon or two (depending on how thick you make it) of warm toffee sauce over each warm pudding. Cover the dish with foil. 

If you've just made them a few hours ahead, you can leave the dish on the counter. Otherwise, refrigerate until you're ready to reheat the puddings. Reheat for about 20 minutes in oven preheated to 350 degrees. I rarely serve dessert to 18 people, so it's a good thing the puddings freeze well. 

What is youfavorite classic comfort food dessert? 



Sticky Toffee Pudding 

The Puddings 

(Makes 18) 

1 8-ounce package pitted dates
1 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 dip-and-sweep cups (8.75 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (6 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 


The Sauce 

(Makes 2 cups) 

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses (black treacle in the UK)
1 tablespoon brandy, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


1 In 1-quart saucepan, bring dates and water to a boil. Boil gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and set aside. 

2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin and a 6-cup standard muffin tin. Place them on a half-sheet pan. 

3 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, by hand or with electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until well combined. 

4 In food processor fitted with chopping blade, process dates in their liquid to a smooth puree. Add date mixture to batter and stir until combined. 

5 Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, divide batter evenly between the 18 muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn out onto wire racks, top sides down. 

6 While puddings are baking, make the sauce. (Or make it ahead and leave it at room temperature for a few hours before gently rewarming it at serving time.) In 2-quart saucepan, combine dark brown sugar, butter, cream, salt and molasses. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the consistency* you prefer. Remove from heat and stir in brandy, if using, and vanilla extract. 

* I like to stop at 5 minutes and spoon a little of the thinner sauce over the warm-from-the-oven puddings, then continue cooking the remaining sauce until it is thicker, about 5 minutes longer. Not necessary, but I like the way the thinner sauce kind of soaks into the puddings a bit. 

7 Place puddings on individual serving plates. Spoon sauce over the puddings. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or barely sweetened whipped cream on the side. And, of course, Custard Sauce - Creme Anglaise takes this dessert completely over the top!

34 comments:

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love rich and sweet desserts, and I would also like your less sweet version :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Bianca. It's still plenty sweet! Just not cloyingly, toothachingly.

Joanne Wilson said...

One of my favourite puds, after a large bowl of soup at this time of year.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Mmm, Joanne, wish I was having that meal right now!

frayedattheedge said...

Thanks for the recipe - I love sticky toffee pudding! As for comfort food dessert, first choice would be bread and butter pudding, second choice would be anything covered in thick steaming custard - but it has to be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird's_Custard
none of that proper cheffy custard!

Linda Kay said...

Might be just a bit much sugar for me to fix for my hubby. But it sure sounds yummy.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Glad you like it, frayed! Of course, I make "that proper cheffy custard," but Bird's is certainly beloved!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Linda! Yes, those of us who like to limit our sugar can certainly make do quite nicely with a lot less of the toffee sauce.

Amy at love made my home said...

Delicious!!! I have to agree with Anne though, you need Birds custard and not crème anglaise!! xx

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Amy! Yes, I know Brits love their Bird's custard, but unless I'm making it for someone who is allergic to eggs I'll stick with my eggy custard sauce!

Cranberry Morning said...

Well Jean, that sounds perfectly delicious. I think my favorite dessert is peach pie or Danish puff pastry. I'd have to try this. :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I'm with you on that, Judy - homemade peach pie is my all-time favorite, but this is really good!

belleau kitchen said...

This is The Vikings favourite pudding. I love your recipe. It's quite different to mine which is good to see. Yours also looks quite incredible.

Angie Schneider said...

The sticky toffee pudding always reminds me of Christmas. It looks decadent and wonderful for the cold season.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Dom! Sometimes after I post a recipe, I'll look at other bloggers' versions. I was amazed to see the differences in STP recipes.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Angie, thanks. Yes, this tastes even better during winter!

Cranberry Morning said...

I tried to respond to this post on my phone last night and for some reason it wouldn't 'take.' ANYway, this looks delicious, of course. My favorite dessert is peach pie, but I'm particular about the crust. Not just any old peach pie will do. :-) My other favorite dessert is Danish puff pastry. No sugar, just eggs, flour, almond. I wish I could just stop by, Jean, and beg for some sticky toffee pudding. :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, thank you so much! But I'd want to bring it to *your* house so I could pet your cat!

bj said...

I've never even heard of Sticky Toffee Pudding and this is the 2nd recipe I've seen for it today.
It sounds amazing.

and, yep, I have a TON of trays and love every one of them. :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

BJ, and now you'll probably start seeing several recipes for it every day -- funny how that happens!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

TOFFEE – now we’re getting somewhere! That’s a 5-cleaver opener already. Love your historical declensions, but my taste buds have an all-border pass, Jeani. And – counterintuitively – I actually go for your limit on the sweetness. It’s the kind of dessert that could almost benefit from a little “sour.” That would likely be the coffee input. A real winner here. Soon as I post this, I’m heading down to the kitchen to do some damage…

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sully, I humbly accept your 5-cleavers award! Not sure if it's the molasses, the dates or what, but there is a little hint of the "sour" that you mention.

Richard Sheppard said...

You're killing me here Jean! Am I going to have to make yet another one of your delicious desserts? I think yes. Seriously though, it sounds amazing.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Oh, Richard, thank you! Do let me know how it turns out for you. I think you're going to love it.

Sippity Sup said...

I'm a huge toffee fan and this dessert has always intrigued me. One of my best friends is a Brit (he's a bit younger than me and probably born not too much before 1971)and I think he'd like this. It's my turn to cook next, so... I'm thinking, maybe... GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Oh, Greg, DO make it! And let me know how you and your friend liked it!

Pom Pom said...

Hi Jean! Yummy! What a perfect portion of DELICIOUS!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Pom Pom! It's especially good during fall and winter.

Brooks said...

O M Goodness! I couldn't pin this fast enough. I've always wanted to try making a sticky toffee pudding, and by all accounts, Jean, this looks to be a great jumping off point.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Brooks, thank you so much! I'm all about the homey English desserts. Hope you'll make STP soon!

LANA said...

That looks yummy. I have a good one for you to try. Ever hear of Spaghettieiz? Not sure about that spelling. It is ice-cream spaghetti and is a big hit in Germany. They put ice cream through a potato ricer and make sauce out of fruit! Google it! Looks like fun.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Lana! I googled it - spaghettieis - looks like fun!

Blissmum. said...

Never known a pudding to be baked pretty sure the original recipe in England would be steamed and always served with custard ( in the north)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Blissmum, oh yes, it is wonderful with custard! I posted my custard sauce recipe some time ago. I put it on everything! (Maybe because my mother's family is from the north?) You might like my slow cooker steamed pudding recently posted.

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