Sticky Toffee Pudding
If I start to speak with a fake English accent, just come over and slap me. But I’ve finally suceeded in making this little British cake (that’s one, still hot from my oven, in the photo above), and I’m still swooning over its pure deliciousness.
I’ve been meaning to write about Rose Bakery, the English bakery and lunch spot in Montmarte that I’m completely in love with – they have the most fantastic square tarts with roasted veggies, and fresh salads and honestly, it’s just one of those places that’s feels homey from the minute that you walk in the door. It’s cramped, yes, but it’s all fresh, and it’s an amazing value (you can get a tarte and a little salade for 12.50), and best of all, there are these things that they only sell in the winter called STICKY TOFFEE PUDDINGS.
Just writing that makes me drool.
I’m from Texas, as all of you know, and not from England, which is where these things come from, but believe it or not, once again, a few years ago, the brilliant minds at Haagen-Dazs (who knew that Haagen-Dazs would be my constant inspiration?) decided that “Sticky Toffee Pudding” ice cream would be just the thing that we all needed, so Dana Woods, my dear neighbor, would call me whenever she’d spy H-D/STP in stock in the grocery stores in the area and give me STP alerts. Often, too, she’d just buy up all that she could and then share the bounty with me.
We were both addicted to the stuff.
But that’s really as far as I’d ever gotten with STP. Until I visited Rose Bakery a few months ago.
Call me once again obsessed. Addicted. Whatever.
I bought the cookbook on my first visit and vowed to make it. I went to the new location in the Marais, and ordered it again, vowing once again to make STP in my very own, very small kitchen.
Enough talk. The time had come.
After three different batches, and tinkering with oven times, foil or not to foil, etc. each time, I’ve finally come up with a version that I’m pleased with.
Originally, these were made with dates, and Rose Bakery makes theirs with apricots. I thought that I’d try it with a combination of dried figs and peaches.
Also, I made crème Anglaise to accompany this the first time (way too rich), whipped cream the second, and the third will be Haagen-Dazs vanilla on the side, which naturally was perfect.
Here’s the recipe that I came up with, based on Rose Bakery’s recipe.
Sticky Toffee Puddings
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
1 ½ cups dried figs and peaches (or use your favorite dried fruit), chopped finely
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 cup (heaping) dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
8 tablespoons cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Put dried figs and peaches in a bowl, add baking soda and cover with boiling water. Stir to combine. Let cool.
In a saucepan over low heat, put dark brown sugar, a pinch of sea salt, one-half of the butter and the cream, and cook just until the sugar melts.
Pour toffee sauce into 8 ramekins, dividing among them (about 3 tablespoons each).
Now, in a mixing bowl, put the other half of the butter, the sugar and vanilla and blend until fluffy. Add egg and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in a bowl. Add to mixing bowl and mix just to combine.
Now fold dried figs and peaches into mixture.
Spoon this mixture into the ramekins with the toffee sauce, being careful not to overfill. Two-thirds full is enough.
Put the ramekins in a bain marie (water bath) that’s about half-way up the sides.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
To serve, turn the ramekins upside-down on a plate, watch the moat of toffee surround the little cake, and go for it. Ice cream, too.
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