Sticky Toffee Pudding My Way

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While I was taking 2 months off after delivering my baby boy, I had the luxury of staying in bed for most of that time regaining my strength. It could be the most boring time if nothing else is happening. Luckily, I befriended my LCD TV that is right in my bedroom and watched pretty much all the food related shows that I can find. One of the trend that seems to getting its momentum is a fresh look at English cooking. The perception has been  that there is not much gastronomy in Britain but many young creative chefs are trying to prove it wrong. I very much enjoyed all the refreshing ideas that were brought forward and also a history lesson on all the typical British food. Sticky Toffee Pudding is for sure one of the iconic one so I had to give it a try.

 

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I was making it for the first time for my afternoon tea party with my mommy friends. Of course, a lot of us have taste buds that are deeply and proudly Chinese, which resent super sweet food. So I  thought I would modify the traditional recipe to adapt to that and introduce some familiar tastes to make it feel like an old friend. What helped to achieve that were two ingredients – black tea and jujube honey. In the toffee sauce, I added in black tea which made it almost resemble the popular milk tea in Asia. In the dates mixture, I added the jujube honey. It is, to me, in the dates family and has its presence in a lot of Chinese desserts. My scheme worked so well that all the 24 little plates were gone in no time. Part of the trick was the gold dust and decorative white chocolate square which I should talk about more one of these days.

Here is how I made it.

Ingredients

Servings: 24

Pudding

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup Jujube Honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Sauce

  • cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tea bag good quality black tea 

 

Preparation

Pudding

  • Preheat oven to 350 °. Butter 24 2-inch cupcake pan. Chop dates into small cubes and mix it with 1 cup boiling water and the jujube honey. Place in a blender and blender into paste. Set aside; let cool.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and vanilla in a large bowl to blend (mixture will be grainy). Add the eggs; beat to blend. Then blend in the flour to form batter.  Pour batter into mold.
  • Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack.

Sauce

  • Bring cream and tea to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; Remove the tea leaves by pouring the cream through a sieve. In another small saucepan, put in the sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, then slowly add in the tea cream. Stir continuously, for another 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens a little.
  • Place the cakes in tasting plates. Serve with sauce.
  • Optional: dust with some edible gold and place a thin slice of white chocolate with design as a garnish.

 

 

 

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