When Downton Abbey was ending, we decided to have a full-blown English dinner in honor of the TV show. My husband is English so he was happy to have an excuse to make Yorkshire pudding, a roast, brussels sprouts – the whole nine (extremely proper) yards. My contribution was to make dessert. I came across a recipe for English Sticky Toffee Pudding that was pretty involved, requiring a lot of chopping, mixing bowls, wax paper and what-not. I try to avoid using more equipment than needed whenever I can by calling on my food processor instead. So here’s my adapted, so-much-easier version of Toffee Pudding.
Easy Toffee Pudding
Ingredients, grouped by the order in which you’ll use them:
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 c. boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream to make whipped cream but the dessert is sweet enough without it.
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dates until they are chopped. Remove them, placing them in a small bowl, adding the boiling water and baking powder. Let that sit while you work on the rest.
2. Add the butter, sugar and egg to the processor and mix until it’s all creamed. To that, add the remaining ingredients (except those for the Toffee Sauce).
3. Add back in the date/water/baking soda mixture and mix again until everything is thoroughly combined.
4. Butter a baking dish that’s approximately 10 inches across (round or square, doesn’t matter). Bake at 350 degrees until the pudding is set and firm on top which takes about 35 minutes. When it’s done, set the dish on a raised cooling rack while you prepare the Toffee Sauce.
5. Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small but heavy saucepan. Heat it to boiling, stirring constantly. Keep it boilng over a medium-low heat as it thickens which will take 6-8 minutes.
6. Spoon the pudding into dishes and ladle the Toffee Sauce over the top. Allow everything to cool a few minutes before eating (especially before giving to kids) because the sauce can be very hot. Note, some recipes I saw called for spooning a little sauce over the top of the pudding and broiling it and then serving it with more sauce. I skipped this step but you may want to try it.