I was excited to make this cake as my husband is British and a lover of all things with the words "sticky toffee" and "pudding" in the title.
I decided to make individual sized puddings, in ramekins, instead of one big pudding. I love tiny things and thought the presentation would be really pretty using the individual servings...plus it would be easier that way not to go overboard with my "tasting" of the finished product. (My only complaint about the recipe, is that there are no instructions on how long to bake the individual sized puddings. I ended up baking them for 10 minutes, rotating the pan as directed, and baking for 10 minutes more. While still very moist, I think they may have been slightly overcooked with the 20 minutes total. Next time I'd rotate them at 7 minutes and then check them at 15 minutes total.)
Here, my ramekins are lined with a little parchment round. I didn't bother with the shortening, as directed in the recipe, and they popped out absolutely fine in the end after running a small spatula around the edge.
|mise en place for the pudding|
|mise en place for the toffee sauce|
The stout beer (I used Lion Stout), baking soda and pureed date mixture smelled really odd, but looked pretty...a rich brown color with foamy bubbles...
|pureed date and beer mixture|
|a third of the flour gets mixed in|
|then half of the beer/date mixture|
|the finished batter|
The recipe said the batter would fill 12 ramekins about half full. After filling 12, my batter only only came about one-third of the way up, however they puffed way up in the oven so 1/3 full turned out to be fine.
|ready to be baked|
|turning them out to cool|
|they smelled so yummy|
|one for my husband and...|
|one for me...so pretty!|
|spongy and moist, with a tender crumb|
|that was delicious!|
Overall, these were quite easy to make and would be great for a large dinner party since the batter made 12 individual servings. They also looked very professional when plated with the toffee sauce, crème fraîche and toasted pecans. The taste and texture reminded me of a gingerbread; my husband said both the taste and the sponginess of the cake were very authentic. However, we both agreed that the toffee sauce - when sampled on its own - tasted a little too much like brown sugar (i.e. molasses) so I added about 1/4 cup more heavy cream and a splash of vanilla extract to try to lighten the flavor. Next time I might try making the toffee sauce using light brown sugar instead of dark. Once the sauce was poured over the pudding however, the molasses taste didn't seem as strong but I do notice that my toffee sauce is much darker than the photo in the cookbook (which is more of a caramel color), so I wonder if I missed something there.
I think I will make them again at Christmas and add the option of a vanilla custard to satisfy my husband's hometown yearnings.
Bye for now...