If you have mastered the scone recipe, and feel the need for another dose of England, then look no further.
I warn you now, these are not for anyone on a low carb diet. They are laden with fat and sugar and, are absolutely incredible.
Pudding in England is dessert. Now, you can have pudding for pudding but the type of pudding that is eaten here is not popular there. Are you confused?
Brits eat lots of pudding. We have a sweet tooth. We like cakes, pies, crumbles ( like a crisp but with less sugar so it is crumbly not crispy). We do not put peanut butter in everything that is not nailed down. We like custard on things but it is likely that you have no idea what custard is. ( yet! I am here to enlighten you in the coming weeks).
Sticky toffee pudding is a very moist dense cake slathered in a caramel sauce. It is best served with a dollop of whipped or clotted cream or a high quality vanilla ice cream. After you have tasted this you will want more. Not more that day because you can overdo it very easily. This is delicious and elicits appreciative sound effects from people as they devour it. One is enough though. It is very, very rich.
I discovered this delight to the senses after I had been in the USA for over 15 years. It was not there when I left.
I had returned to England for the sad occasion to say goodbye to my dad who was dying. The trip was not a vacation by any means but he died on a Friday. We were unable to tie up his estate and set up the funeral until the following Monday.
Sunday lunch is a delightful tradition in the homeland. Every Sunday when I was a small child, we would go to my granny's house and have a huge roast dinner. Roast beef, Yorkshire puds, roasted potatoes, lashings of gravy.
It was a wonderful tradition that I was too tired to replicate with my family while herding a mass of small children and homeschooling. I managed to feed them something and on Sundays I just wanted to have a nap in the afternoon.
We were childless on this trip as my mum had flown over from England to watch them for us.
That Sunday we went to a local restaurant in the town he lived in and we had a full roast dinner that would have made my granny proud. Everything shuts down in the afternoon in England and we had rushed to the restaurant without having time find a cash machine.
After an amazing meal we longingly looked at the dessert menu and there on it was " Delia Smith's little sticky toffee puddings". As we counted our pennies out we realized we had enough for one portion. The owner came to chat to us and told us to order one each and just give us what he had.
Well, he probably knew that a fight would ensue if we had one to share.
I cannot describe in words how incredibly yummy it was.
I asked my mum to find Delia's book with the recipe. 2 years later I did not have a book and was dreaming about the puds. I have no idea why I waited so long but I googled the title and up it popped.
Joy of joys!!! There they were in black and white on my screen.
Brits use pounds and ounces to measure what goes in recipes. This is very annoying when you are in the USA. It is easy with butter but everything else is difficult to convert. I have a baby scale to work with but I am sure you do not so I have translated it for you.
The sugar in the original recipe is castor sugar. This is slightly finer than normal sugar here. It is not as fine as confectioners sugar. The taste and texture of the end product is not marred by the use of normal sugar. The beginning butter sugar mix will have a very grainy appearance but, ignore this. If you want to try making castor sugar then you can buzz some sugar a few times in a coffee grinder. It needs to be pulsed very carefully as castor sugar can appear very quickly. It is not necessary though.
I also converted this to gluten free. It tastes the same. No one will know it is gluten free ( or care). The instruction part has an option for both.
I have tweaked the recipe but, all credit for the original goes to Delia Smith.
The list below gives you a complete list of all the materials and ingredients that you will need. Although you do not need a Kitchen Aid stand mixer or a high end commercial blender like the Blendtec and the Vitamix, they are magnificent tools to have. I have had my Blendtec for over seven years and my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for 27! The Kitchen Aid was a gift from my inlaws for Christmas on the year I was first married. I cried with joy! It has been used nearly everyday since. My Blendtec has been another workhorse in my kitchen and I would not hesitate to buy it again. I will be doing a series on my favorite kitchen tools and these will be featured. I love them! ( as much as you can love a mixer and a blender)
Retrieve all the above and make sure everything is clean and dry. Wipe down your counters and clear them so that you have room to work.
Put on your "pinny". That is slang for apron in the homeland. Wash your hands and we are ready to go!
Grease the pan with butter. You can use a brush with melted butter or put on a surgical glove and use softened butter. This allows you to carefully cover each cup in the muffin pan. You do not want any to stick. You can use muffin cups to line the pan but this gives a ridged side to the puds like a cup cake. A plain side is far more elegant.
Set the oven to 350.
Measure out one cup of medjool dates.
Put on surgical gloves and make sure all the pits are removed.
You can also cut through the dates on a chopping board to do this.
If you miss a pit then you will get a terrible clanging noise in your blender. Make sure you are very careful to get them all out.
Now, measure 6 oz of boiling water into a jug and and add the dates and let them soak. You can use tea but, until I have educated you on how to make real tea, just use water. That thing on a string is not tea.
Measure out 3 oz of softened butter and 3/4 of a cup of sugar. Place in bowl of the mixer and beat until fluffy. You are using granulated sugar and the English version uses what is called castor sugar. The mix at this point will will be quite granular.
Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork and slowly add a small amount at a time and beat in.
Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork and slowly add a small amount at a time and beat in. You will now have a light creamy mixture. Set aside while you prep the date part.
Place the dates and the soaking water, 3/4 tsp of baking soda and 2 tsp of coffee essence in the blender. You can use instant coffee if you do not have coffee essence. Starbucks Via works really well.
Now blend until you have a smooth paste.
If you left a pit in one of those dates you will hear it immediately. Stop the blender and find it and remove it!
Measure out 1 1/3 cups of gluten free flour mix and add 2 tsp of baking powder and a 1/4 tsp of salt to the creamed mix. If you are making a gluten version then use 1 1/3 cups of self rising flour and DO NOT add any baking powder.
Put the mixer on a slow speed and combine all the ingredients until the mix is smooth
Use a rubber spatula to remove all the date mix from the blender and add it to the mixer bowl. Fold this in a figure of eight motion into the creamed butter and sugar. Make sure you get all the mix combined so the color is even.
Using two tablespoons divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cup sections of the buttered pan.
Bake at 350 degrees in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. The puds should be soft and spongy. They should bounce back if you press lightly on the top of one. If you have any doubts, use a tooth pick to test by inserting in the middle of one. It should come out clean.
Pop back in for 5 mins if you think they need more time.
Let the puds cool and then remove from the pan. They should pop out of the pan really easily if you greased it properly.
Flip them over and place them on a board or plate and use a fork to trim their bottoms. The curve of the fork is perfect for this. Just push gently around the bottom edge and it will in effect cut off the excess edges.
Make the sauce by measuring a scant cup of brown sugar, 1 stick of butter and 8 tablespoons of heavy cream into a pan. Place on a medium heat and stir until the sugar and butter have dissolved and the mix is lightly bubbling.
You can place all the puds in a 11 x 13 Pyrex pan if you are serving all at once or you can prep one at a time and reserve the rest.
If you are prepping them all then evenly space in the pan and spoon the sauce over each one. For one just place on a small pan or pie dish and spoon some sauce over it.
Broil for a minute or two. Now, this is where you could have a smoke issue if you turn you back and your puds will be burned to a crisp on top.
Keep the oven door open and watch and turn off the heat when you see the tops of the puds start to bubble.
Place on a plate to serve. You can make a double batch of the sauce if you want them drowning in it.
Plop a dollop of whipped heavy cream, clotted cream or really good vanilla ice cream on top and devour!
I am guessing you will probably want to lick your plate. Go ahead!
If you want to make these ahead for a special occasion or to have a treat in the freezer ready for a "sweet tooth night let them cool.
After they have been cooled and trimmed then pop them in the freezer. Make a batch of sauce when you defrost them. If you have extra sauce it is a fantastic topping for ice cream too!
Enjoy and stay tuned for the next recipe from the homeland!
Disclosure, when you order through my links, you’ll get the same discounts and deals I got and I’ll get the credit for referring you.*