This is one of our family’s favorite desserts. It’s a baked pudding, so realistically, you could call it toffee pudding cake. And the sticky part comes from the simple but delicious sauce. Brits call this pudding, we call it cake. In the end, it’s the same thing. Except we do something a little different in the House of Wildsau. Our magic ingredient is … dates! They add a nice amount of sweetness and moisture to the whole deal.
Ingredients (for about 6-8 servings)
1-1/3 cup dates
1-1/2 cup softened butter – we use salted, but unsalted is fine too
1-1/2 cup brown sugar – we’ve used both regular and light golden – they’re both awesome
1 (or more) tsp vanilla extract – 1 is the minimum. We’re vanilla freaks, so we use more.
1 tsp “pumpkin pie spice” – just make your own – it’s equal parts cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
1-1/2 cup flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt – just as a little aside, when you put these three ingredients together, you just made self-rising flour. You’re welcome.
1/4 tsp salt – we always use kosher, but whatever you have is fine
2/3 cup whipping cream, or heavy cream – call it what you want
You can start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, and go ahead a grease a small baking or roasting pan. We always use our 8×12 pan, as we found it the best fit for this amount of ingredients. If you do a good job greasing or Pam’ing your pan, you won’t need parchment paper, but if you’re a parchment paper person, go ahead and use it.
Put the dates in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover them. Bring the whole thing to a boil, and let it cook for about 5 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the dates are quite soft. There shouldn’t be much, if any, liquid left over, but if there is, drain it.
Put the drained dates in your food processor, and give them a good processing until they are totally smooth and then let them cool.
Once they’ve had a few minutes to cool, add 1 cup of the butter and 1 cup of the brown sugar into the food processor and process it until this mixture is smooth as well.
Now you can add the eggs, the vanilla (c’mon, be generous with the vanilla!), the spices, your home-made self-rising flour (go ahead and brag about that to your friends) and the salt – all into the food processor – and process it until it’s smooth. You’re making batter. We have a dough blade for our food processor, but have never bothered to use it – the processing blade does a wonderful job here. When it’s smooth, just spoon the entire thing into your prepared pan, and bake your “pudding” for about 30 minutes. The key here is that it’s nice and golden and has risen properly.
While that’s baking, you can make the simple but awesome sauce. I’m German and have a sweet tooth, so I could actually consume this sauce as a beverage, it’s that good.
Put the remaining sugar and butter into a pan. Add the whipping (heavy) cream and cook it over low heat – just until the sugar crystals have completely dissolved. That’s the important part. And so it the low heat – don’t crank it up until the sugar’s dissolved. Then you can turn it up a bit and simmer it for a good 10 minutes or so. It’s done when it has thickened enough and is dark enough to be a nice silky toffee sauce. Honestly, don’t try it, or you might finish it before your pudding is done being baked.
OK, so when you’ve baked the pudding for about 30 minutes, check it with something pokey. If it comes out dry, you know it’s done. If you’re still seeing batter on your pokey thing, keep baking it at 5 minute intervals and re-checking. You don’t want to bake this too long.
That’s it. We usually cut our toffee into long diamonds, but really, when something is this good, your guests will have no time critiquing the shape of it. They’ll be busy ladling it down their throats. We always serve ours with the sauce spooned over the cake, then topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream and topped with a little more sauce. Realistically, you should start with a pool of the sauce on the plate before you even put the cake down.
If you’re wanting to dress things up a bit, this recipe works very well in smaller molds too, and you can bake each person their own sticky toffee pudding. The only difference is that you’ll need to bake it for a shorter period, probably closer to 20 minutes.
Hope you enjoy it. It’s easy, relatively quick and very yummy. Our kids love it, and the nice thing is, it’s just as good the next day.
Dairyland contacted us and offered to send us a grocery gift card, if we’d be interested in grabbing some of their product and trying it out. We did just that, and among other products for other recipes, we used their delectable heavy cream in this recipe – it was perfect for making the toffee sauce and also for making our vanilla whipped cream topping. Truth is, we always look for Dairyland product anyway, because they offer organic milk. A big thanks to them for helping us make this taste so good!