12 Days of Christmas Baking Day 6: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Photo: K. Henriques

This is one of those desserts I feel like I heard all the time on Great British Bake Off. I don’t actually remember seeing them make this dessert so maybe I’m just thinking of another pudding, but I was pretty excited to try my hand at a British pudding. Well… that is until I realized this had dates in it. I’m not really a big dried fruit fan and dates and prunes often get a bad reputation as being something only senior adults eat, but I decided to push all of this aside and try it for myself.

First off, I shot myself in the foot because I tried to half this recipe to avoid having so much dessert around the house. I thought I was doing fine, until I took the sticky toffee off the stove and started to put it in a bowl and then realized I forgot to add the other half of the cream. By the time I realized that a lot of the toffee had hardened. I had to pull my husband in to help figure out how to salvage things so we put the hardened toffee and the cream back in the saucepan and just hoped for the best. We had about a 1/4 cup of sticky toffee that stayed liquid and ended up tossing the rest as it never melted back down. Aside from that mishap, this shouldn’t have been difficult but it is a time consuming process as you must stir the ingredients constantly on the stove to avoid burning and be sure to pull this off right when it’s turning amber because apparently it keeps cooking once you take it off the stove so it’ll end up about 2 shades darker.

Moving on to the cake portion, which wasn’t really difficult. The only problem occurred with the blending of the hot prunes, because I cut the recipe in half there wasn’t a lot of the prune mixture so it kept getting stuck on the sides and probably didn’t get as smooth as it should have been. I muscled through and pulled out the immersion blender to try and help things out a little. Another small problem, the ramekins we have are 1 cup, not 1/2 cup. I didn’t think this would be an issue and just went with it. I think the only thing this changed was the shape and since it was wider rather than taller I decided not to cut it in half as directed later in the process.

Besides all of those self-imposed problems this looked pretty close to the real deal and I was surprised at how much I liked the taste of this. It had a wonderful caramel flavor and I would never have guessed I was eating prunes had I not put them in myself. My husband and I ate this with a scoop of his homemade vanilla ice cream and it was delicious! Despite all of the problems I had I think I would certainly try this again with the properly sized ramekins and if there were enough people to eat this right out of the oven.

Baking Ease7
Time Spent7
Taste10
Visual9

Recipe Used: Food & Wine

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