The other night I decided I wanted to make Sticky Toffee Pudding – one of my favorite desserts that I actually have never made. I was first introduced to this delicacy while living in Europe, and have been in love with it ever since. In Amsterdam (where I lived) the British retailer Marks and Spencer had a food hall downtown where they sold a frozen version of this pudding that was to die for – hence I never needed to make it myself!
In researching recipes for this scrumptious dessert, I discovered over a dozen different versions that all sounded delicious – from various restaurants, chefs, cooking magazines, etc. Since this dessert’s origins are not clear (other than it is British), there is no way to know what is the “true” recipe. So, decided to set out and test all the various recipes I found, and blog about it! You can try them too and let me know which ones you prefer.
I made the first recipe last night, which I found on the website of a wonderful Denver area restaurant called Bella Bistro. I served it to a few friends, and the general consensus is that this version is delicious. The consistency is more of a regular cake vs. a British pudding (which is more like a sponge cake), but we all loved it – especially the toffee sauce! At the suggestion of good friend Susan Sweeney, I served it with rum-flavored whipped cream – which everyone thought was a great complement to the pudding.
The recipe below includes a few of my changes, and I have also added “make ahead” and “high altitude” directions. Enjoy!
Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
- Yield: 8 to 10 1x
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup pitted dates, preferably Medjool (packed)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Chop the dates finely. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; stir and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack.
- For the sauce, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Preheat broiler. Spoon about 2/3 to 1 cup of the sauce over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, only about 1 minute. Serve immediately. Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of rum-flavored whipped cream.
High altitude: reduce baking powder and baking soda by 1/8 teaspoon, increase boiling water by 2 to 3 tablespoons, and decrease granulated sugar by around 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon.
Make ahead: Pudding can be baked earlier in the day, covered and stored at room temperature. Make toffee sauce just before serving.