Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sticky Fingers

Tonight the girls and I went out for Lisa's birthday. (What up, Jen, Lisa and Liane?!?) Originally we were going to Schiller's, because the Sticky Toffee Pudding is Lisa's fave and the prefect birthday treat, but we ended up going to Bianca because Lisa was craving The Lasagna. It IS pretty freakin' good, but I always end up ordering my usual, the Roasted Salmon, which is also delish and in my mind super healthy. But then we ordered the Tiramisu for dessert (Hello! It's Lisa's birthday. We HAVE to have dessert!) so what's the diff? honor of Lisa's birthday I've decided to share my recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding. It's essentially the home version of the Sticky Toffee at Sweet Basil in Vail, CO. I originally got the recipe from the restaurant for inclusion in The Ski House Cookbook, which I wrote with my great friend, Sarah. I have to say, I was really proud of myself for being able to somehow convert a chef's recipe, written for a restaurant, into an approachable recipe for the home cook. I'm no pastry chef so it was very challenging for me. I was extremely pleased with the results and if you try it, you'll die. I DIE!

Photo by David Prince

Sticky Toffee Pudding via The Ski House Cookbook via Sweet Basil

2 cups pitted dates (10 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking dish
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs

Toffee Sauce:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 (16 ounce) box light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dark rum or brandy, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Butter an 8” x 12” baking dish and set aside.

2. Put the dates in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, remove from the heat, strain and cool. When the dates are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them.

3. Return the dates to the saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla. (Mixture will bubble and foam up.) Set aside to cool.

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and stir until blended. Alternately add the date mixture and the flour mixture to the eggs in 3 additions, stirring after each until the batter is smooth and well combined.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut the baked pudding into 12 squares, but do not remove them from the dish.

6. To make the toffee sauce: While the cake is baking, melt the butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cream and bring the mixture to a boil. (Watch the pot carefully, making sure it doesn't boil over.) Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, if desired.

7. Pour half of the sauce over the baked pudding, allowing it to seep down into it. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more.

8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining sauce.
Serves 12.

Happy birthday Li!


Liseyj said...

Thanks for the shout out T! I had a great time tonight! The lasagna and tiramisu definitely did not disappoint. However, as someone who has tasted your sticky toffee pudding, I can honestly say it is DELISH! More delicious than Theresa's husband. (RH of NJ Ref) Thanks to my girls for a great B-Day!

Tina said...

He's juicy AND delicious! I suddenly feel the need to invent a new cocktail...

WendyB said...

Hey, did you put in a good word for my "friend" at Bianca?

Tina said...

I did, WendyB, but no can do. It's as I predicted: Since they don't take reservations they don't want to 'let down' the regular walk-ins by being closed for a private party. I guess they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else to eat!

thecatskillkiwi said...

sticky toffee pudding is my favorite dessert of all time, OF ALL TIME PEOPLE!!!
i will be making this

ZOMZOM said...

Hey Tina, You got me at the 2 cups of pitted dates, but when I saw the 2 tablespoons of rum at the end, I was really in love. I am definitely not a person who bakes, but I would try this one,.... Who am I kidding?, ....Tina,... I am coming over.

WendyB said...

They're silly! I don't like inflexible places....let the regulars have it then. I'll go to the one of the 10 million other restaurants in NYC...