Sticky Toffee Pudding

A soft date-studded cake served with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. Cosy, comforting, indulgent.

Sticky Toffee Pudding. The phrase its self is almost like music. I imagine this dessert present at one of the elaborate feasts described in a Harry Potter book. Partly because it’s an English classic and partly because I can imagine it nestled between treacle tarts and pumpkin pasties (desserts mentioned in the books- for some reason I tend to remember the food rather than the plot…no surprise there).

A soft date-studded cake served with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. Cosy, comforting, indulgent.

I had always known about sticky toffee pudding but never properly tried it until I visited my sister in Scotland for her graduation. And boy was I missing a part of my life until then.

I probably say this about every dessert, but this is one of my favorites. It’s a soft cake full of warm flavors drenched in toffee sauce and served warm with cream or ice cream. Yes, you may need a workout afterwards, but so worth it.

Traditionally, the cake part of this dessert is prepared with dates. Although the date flavor is subtle, it does add a range of flavors that you never could have guessed. A necessary component to this dessert.

This recipe is similar to the sticky prune cake I posted a while ago, similar flavor too, so I guess you could sub dates with prunes. But dates are way more luxurious and have a sweeter, richer flavor. So I’d go with the latter.

This dessert is a perfect addition to your holiday menu- and I believe it’s traditionally eaten around this time of the year as well. Can’t go wrong with warm, gooey cake, caramel and ice cream.

A soft date-studded cake served with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. Cosy, comforting, indulgent.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients:

Pudding/cake:
  • 8 oz (225 g) soft dates (such as medjool), pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) hot coffee (1 cup boiling water mixed with 1-2 tsp of instant espresso powder)
  • 1 ½ (225 g) cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (125 g) brown sugar (I used dark Muscovado but light is fine too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Toffee Sauce
  • ½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (170 g) brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (190 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla (didn't add it in the video, but I always like adding vanilla in desserts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9-inch pan with butter (a 9 inch square pan is fine too).
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the chopped dates and coffee and set aside. The coffee adds a nice level of depth to the cake, and you can barely taste it. But if you would prefer, use hot water instead. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until creamy and light. You can use any kind of brown sugar you like. I prefer Muscovado because it has a richer flavor.
  5. Gradually add in the eggs and vanilla and beat for several minutes.
  6. Stir in ½ of the flour mixture, followed by the date mixture, followed by the rest of the flour mixture.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Pierce the cake multiple times using a skewer or chopstick. This ensures that the cake will absorb all of the toffee sauce.
  9. To prepare the toffee sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
  10. Stir the mixture constantly until it melts and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and boil for around 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. You can also do this step in the microwave, stirring after every minute.
  11. Add the salt, and you can also add 1 tsp of vanilla extract should you wish. In the video, the sauce appears darker than normal due to the color of the sugar. A lighter brown sugar will result in a lighter toffee sauce.
  12. Pour the toffee sauce over the cake, reserving ½ cup for topping.
  13. Serve the cake warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then drizzle some of the remaining sauce over the top.
  14. I usually store the cake in the refrigerator and then microwave a piece when it is ready to eat.
Adapted from Martha Stewart

A soft date-studded cake served with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. Cosy, comforting, indulgent.

On another note, this recipe was part of a Holiday collaboration with a number of other Youtubers that my Youtube bestie, Rachel from Kawaii Sweet World put together. We thought it would be cool to bring the Youtube foodie community together in the spirit of giving (and making awesome Holiday-themed recipes). Each of us selected a charity/organisation to donate to. My choice was Doctors Without Borders (Medécins Sans Frontières), an organization I’ve long admired.

MSF provides emergency medical aid to people in areas affected by conflict, by pandemics, or by natural disaster. Many of the volunteers and workers risk their lives in order to help those in need. If you feel compelled to donate or give to a worthy organization this Christmas, maybe you might consider contributing to MSF. For more details on the collaboration and other charities that members of the collaboration picked, check out my Youtube video  above or check out the playlist of videos we put together 🙂

A soft date-studded cake served with warm toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. Cosy, comforting, indulgent.