So we all know the story of Scheherazade who saved her life by telling a different tale every night for a total of one thousand and one Arabian nights.
Well I think I could do that with food; cook a different dish each night for one thousand and one nights and live to tell the tale. But what would I offer on the first night? To be honest the choice is easy; I would start with, what is probably, the best dessert in the world.
The origins of this dish are disputed, with both the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Cumbia, England and the Udny Arms in Aberdeenshire, Scotland claiming to have come up with the recipe.
Now the Udny Arms holds a special claim on me, as it was where my husband proposed. I was so shocked on the evening he asked me I could not even eat dessert! That being said the version I give here has it’s origins in the Lake District.
Appropriately, for saving my life from a vengeful Arabian Prince, the secret ingredients in this dessert are dates and coffee; the not so secret ones are cream, butter and sugar.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Preheat Oven to 350F
- 4oz of softened butter
- 5 oz brown sugar
- 6 oz Self raising flour or 6oz plain flour with 11/2tsp of baking powder
- 5 oz dates
- 6 fluid oz boiling water
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp instant coffee
Put dates, baking soda, coffee granules in a bowl and add the boiling water, leave to cool slightly.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour then finally add the date mixture.
Divide mixture between eight 3-inch ramekins. Place on baking tray and bake for approx. 25 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. I also make one large pudding using a 12 inch oval casserole dish.
- 8oz butter/ 2 sticks
- 12 oz soft brown sugar/2 cups of brown sugar
- 12 tablespoons heavy cream
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently until sugar has melted and sauce is bubbling.
Now pour some sauce over the warm puddings and serve with whipped cream, ice cream or clotted cream. I like to throw in strawberries for color. Candied pecans (I get mine from Trader Joe’s) work too.
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