Sticky Toffee Pudding
Not long ago while shopping at the local Trader Joe’s, I noticed they had sticky toffee pudding in their freezer section. So as the family tends to approve of TJ’s frozen baked good (especially Kouign Amanns) I decided to go for it.
Now usually you’ll find these are made around the holidays for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I don’t see why I can’t fatten myself up before the holidays
Theirs were easy to heat, and so, so delicious. And caloric and carby… but there’s not much you can do about that aside from make a low carb, terrible version. I’d rather eat less of something amazing than more of something mediocre.
A couple of weeks ago I had made a batch of caramel, based on the recipe I found at Serious Eats. The only change I would make to that recipe is to go ahead and remove the vanilla pod. The caramel is so thick, there’s really no way for it to continue to infuse over time. Anyways, since I have been on a baking tear, and I still had a bunch of caramel, and TJ’s Sticky Toffee Pudding popped into my head. I searched around the internet for an idea of where to start and came across one at ChowHound. And as I generally do, I use recipes as a starting off point for my own creation.
You’ll find this recipe extremely simple to make, especially if you’ve already made caramel beforehand as it’s probably the most complicated (and not that complicated really, it just take up a lot of attention). The cake is moist, buttery, and the caramel is smooth, vanilla-y and amazing.
This recipe is a plate-licker.
And after you make it, rate it and let me know what you think!
- For the cake:
- ½ pound jujubes, pitted and coarsely chopped (about 1¼ cups)*
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- For the caramel (toffee sauce)
- 4 ounces water (1/2 cup; 115g)
- 8½ ounces sugar (1¼ cups; 240g)
- ½ teaspoon (2g) kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1 vanilla pod, reserved from another project
- 8 ounces heavy cream (1 cup; 225g)
- For the cake:
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 3 (16-ounce) ramekins with butter and flour; set aside.
- Combine dates, water, and baking soda in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Place salt and flour in a medium bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer over high heat for a water bath.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add vanilla extract, then beat in eggs one at a time, just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in date mixture until well combined, then stir in flour mixture until just incorporated (don’t overmix).
- Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins and set them in a roasting pan or baking dish (you will likely need to use both a 13-by-9-inch dish and an 8-by-8-inch dish to fit them all). Pour simmering water into the bottom of the baking dishes until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Very carefully place the baking dishes on the center rack of the oven. Bake until the center of each cake is just set and a cake tester inserted into the middle of each comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the caramel.
- In a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, combine water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. If you like, add an empty vanilla pod, too. Stir with a fork until syrup comes to a boil, about 4 minutes, then simmer without stirring until syrup is honey-colored, roughly 6 minutes, shaking and swirling as needed to ensure even caramelization. Continue cooking until syrup is light to medium amber, a minute more. Immediately add cream and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula to knock back the foam, simmer until caramel registers 225°F on a digital thermometer, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a heat-resistant container and cool to room temperature. Caramel will be runny while warm, but thicken as it cools, turning just a little chewy when cold. Refrigerate up to 1 month in an airtight container.