Sunday, February 27, 2011

Heavenly Cake Baker: Sticky Toffee "Pudding"

heavenlycakeplace I've joined the Heavenly Cake Baker "club" (although, sadly, they are almost at the end and there are fewer than 10 cakes left). The cakes are all from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes and this week's cake is Sticky Toffee "Pudding," page 71.

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 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 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...


  1. vanilla custard sounds like a great addition! welcome to the baking group; glad your first cake with us was a hit!

  2. Thanks! I actually really liked the creme fraiche with it because the toffee sauce was so sweet and the creme fraiche cut the sweetness a bit with the sour tanginess. Can't wait for the next assignment.

  3. Welcome! How fantastic your husband is British and this is the first cake bake along for you. I like how your little ramekin cakes turned out. Thanks for the baking times.

  4. How perfect that your first HCB cake is one from your husband's homeland :o) Welcome to HCB. I'm glad the cake was a big hit! It was a big hit with us too. If you read my blog post, you'll see that I opted for a "lighter" caramel sauce/glaze. I think that worked really well.

    On a different note. I noticed that you follow the ABC blog. Please feel free to join us if you like Flo Braker's recipes (or if you like baking in general). So far her recipes have been a big hit.

  5. Hi Vicki and Hanaa - thanks for your comments. It is funny that this was the first recipe - I was glad to find out how authentic it tasted!

    Hanaa, I will check out your lighter caramel sauce, thanks!

  6. It’s great to have you, Alice! Welcome to ABC. We post once a month (every first Tuesday of the month). So we’ll all be posting our March entry tomorrow, March 1st. If you feel up to it and you have time, feel free to make the March recipe anytime this week and post it. Just leave a link to your post on the ABC blog. I’ll also add your blog to the ABC blog roll tonight. And if you have an email address, I’d like to email you our ABC badge to put on your blog. Just email me at HanaasKitchen [at] live [dot] com.

  7. The ramekins did work well, didn't they? I did the opposite of you: greased the ramekins and skipped the parchment rounds. Mine came out without problems as well.

    Welcome to HCB!

  8. Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the welcome :) I got my raspberries tonight - ready for the next HCB cake!

    Yes, I liked the ramekins a lot (I love individually sized things) but will probably follow your lead next time with buttering them instead of took quite a while to cut all those little rounds the perfect size!

  9. Welcome to the group! And what a great entrance you made too! Looks sticky and gooey and just perfect. Not bad for your first start eh?

  10. Thanks, Monica! Yes, I was quite pleased with the result both the way it looked and tasted.

    I've been checking out your GCC ring...I may not be gutsy enough but I'm contemplating it :)