For all the recipes we Americans steal from the Europeans, the one that hasn’t stuck is a good Sticky Toffee Pudding. Why, I mean, what’s not to like? Date cake, good, toffee, good, Devonshire Cream, good, meat, good! When called upon to provide a fabulous dessert for a small catering job, a few things came to mind. The dessert needed to hold up after being out all afternoon in the elements without a way to reheat it. It also needed to be easy to serve and translate to a proper fall/winter dish. After giving it some thought, I was struck with the idea of doing a sticky toffee pudding.
I was watching one of those, “best things I ever ate” type shows a long while back and recalled a chef doing a sticky toffee pudding. They used three different methods for soaking sponge cake in that salty, buttery, sweet toffee sauce. It seemed like a grand idea, one that fit my needs perfectly.
The day before the gig, it was requested that I make the cake in a cast iron skillet to add some whimsy to the presentation. Although the recipes that I had researched to make one of my own only used baking dishes, I obliged because I thought that if I buttered the pan real good and then coated the pan with sugar, it would make a nice crisp edge for the moist dessert. It worked very well indeed I must say. It was pretty nerve-wracking to prepare this thing. It was like walking a tightrope without a net, or even an umbrella for that matter. To cook something you’ve never made before, and to have to do it perfectly the first and only time without reference is ridiculous. Through it all though, it turned out as the Brits say “Advantage-Agassi”.
Fans of clotted cream or Devonshire cream will appreciate this easy interpretation I made to the dollop on the side. Usually making the stuff is an all day process. But I’ve extracted the spirit of what a good cream is, while only taking 10 minutes of your time.
To complete this dessert properly might take a little time. However, the results are grand and it’s really not hard. Just crank up some good Brit rock and go to town. Enjoy your bloody pudding mate.
Sticky Toffee Pudding