STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
The daddy of all puddings. As with all good things there is a queue a mile long of people claiming creators rights. Having weighed up the evidence i am leaning towards a certain small hotel in the Lake district. Don't sue me!What you need :
An oven pre-heated to 180 degrees.
A baking tray lined with parchment. It really doesn't matter what size as long as it's oven proof, and besides, it depends how thick you want your pudding. Hell, you could even cook it in a frying pan if you want.
14 oz semi-dried dark dates
1 pint water
14 oz dark brown sugar
5 oz unsalted butter
1 t-spn bicarbonate of soda
14 oz self raising flour - sifted
4 free range eggs
1 tspn of baking powder
1. Boil the dates with the water until you get a thick puree. Throw in the butter and stir until it melts. Take off the heat, add the bicarb then throw in the other ingredients and mix to a batter. You need to beat it to death, really get your bingo-wings flapping or you may end up with lumps of flour. Better still - use an electric mixer.
2. Pour the mix into your tray and stick it in the oven for around 40 minutes. It should be risen and firm to the touch. No gags please, this is a family site! Cool.
Take your pudding and cut it into portion size squares. You will probably notice it has quite an open texture, that is, it has a lot of bubble holes slightly larger than your average sponge. But there is a reason.
Wrap the portions and chill. This can be done a few days in advance, in fact, it's better if it is.
For the sauce.
1 lb dark brown sugar
2 pints of double cream
6 oz unsalted butter
a few cloves, ¼ stick of cinnamon and a star anise.
Bring the mix to the boil, whisking constantly or the sugar may burn to the base of the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then strain and cool.
1. Unwrap each portion, cut them into three or four even slices and place them on a dish or plate, as if they were dominoes that have fallen over and are leaning on each other.
2. Spoon over your sauce, be as generous as you like, then put each dish in the microwave for around one minute. Remember the open texture i mentioned? As your puddings re-heat the sauce will soak into the bubble holes and give you the most icky-sticky toffee pudding you have ever tasted. Trust me.
To really treat yourself serve with a good splodge of clotted cream.
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