Sunday, 25 January 2015

What To Do On a Date

Yesterday was fun. I spent the afternoon trying out some recipes and spending time with Iris. After making pasta,she asked if we could bake some cookies. I went through our baking goods and found dried dates beside the brown sugar. And so I decided to use them up for sticky toffee pudding.

This is a simple recipe that I used for Mother's Day brunches in large quantity. Compared to many others I researched, this is by far the simplest. No steaming, you see. Easy to freeze and reheat, sticky toffee can be made individually or in large quantity. It is also very inexpensive and uses ingredients that most people will have in their home inventory most days of the week.

Anyways, try this recipe on a Sunday afternoon for your fam. They won't be disappointed. In fact, it is so simple that you should deduct an administration toffee from their dessert account.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

55 g Dried Dates, finely chopped
200 ml Water, boiling
1 Tsp Baking Soda

100 g Butter (plus a little extra for greasing ramekins or muffin tins or whatever), room temp
150 g Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp.  Almond Extract
125 g Flour
.5 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder

For the sauce:

120 g Butter
175 g Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Frangelico liqueur (optional?) 
200 ml 35% Whipping Cream 
Pinch of Cinnamon 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease ramekins with butter. 

On your stove top, bring water to a boil. Add your dates and removed from heat. Stir for 1 minute. Add baking soda and watch it rise. Let cool for a few minutes.

In a stand mix or with a hand mixer, cream the butter for one minute. Add sugar and continue blending for another minute. Add eggs one at a time and almond extract and mix until blended. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powpow. Whisk to combine and add to the wet mixture. Mix until blended. Pour in liquid dates and fold together. 

Pour mixture into your ramekins and bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Careful not to fill too high. The pudding rises and can overflow. It's a neat look but a pain to wash.

For the sauce: In a sauce pan melt butter until frothy. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 100 ml of the cream and bring to a boil stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add Frangelico and stir. 

Whip remaining cream until stiff peaks. Add pinch of cinnamon. 

Using a paring knife, cut around the pudding in the ramekin and remove onto plate. Drizzle (or drown, according to preference) with caramel sauce and garnish with whipped cinnamon cream. 

Makes 8 servings. 

A Humble Chef's tip: when chopping up your dates, dip your knife into hot water occasionally and wipe. 

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