Sticky Toffee Pudding

List of things I need to do right now:

  1. study for finals
  2. apply to internships
  3. study for finals
  4. apply to jobs
  5. study for finals

List of things that I am doing right now:

  1. Thoughtfully listening to Justin Bieber…?
  2. Watching stupid movies on Netflix with the Hughs (Jackman and Grant)
  3. Crafting a blog post
  4. Thinking about dessert

Clearly I have my priorities sorted

Anyway, last week I spent a few days at home to study for finals and of course I ended up procrastinating by baking!

Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas I was really in the mood to make something that reminded me of London and was holiday themed, so I made sticky toffee pudding!

The first time I ate sticky toffee pudding was at the home of a family in North London. I had never met these people before- I was sent there for Shabbat dinner by my cousin. I think it was my first or second week in London and I was still getting adjusted to the weather and the people and generally just being alone in a new city, and this family was so warm and welcoming to me, a complete stranger. They had about 20 people over for dinner that night, but I was never left without someone to talk to despite being an outsider. At the end of a lovely evening, the woman brought out a pan of what I thought looked like heaven in dessert form. It’s difficult to describe ‘pudding’ if you’ve never had it, but it’s a bit like a cross between sponge cake and souffle.

This sticky toffee pudding was divine. It’s essentially a brown sugar, carmel cake with dates in it. Who knew fruit cake could be so delicious?

I had plenty of sticky toffee pudding throughout my time in the UK, but none could match the flavor of that one I tried in January… until now.

This Martha Stewart recipe literally blew my mind. Instead of soaking the dates in water as per usual, she has you soak them in coffee.

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dates soaking in coffee

Let me tell you, I think that actually made a huge difference!  But only if you like coffee. You can definitely taste the coffee flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering to me.

Granted, I drink around 4 cups of coffee a day  so maybe I’m not the right judge. I’m a senior in college! I need the caffeine. I won’t function without it.

 

Anyway, I’ve made plenty of desserts for my parents before and they’re always very supportive and often really enjoy them. But they’ll be honest if they think the cookies are too crumbly or the frosting is too sweet, and the moment I set the plate of warm sticky toffee pudding in their hands they were hooked. The aroma alone was enough, but at the first bite my dad exclaimed “when did you train at the CIA? This could be served at a 5 star restaurant!”

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I really think this is one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. I was so proud of myself, too, because the entire time I was making it I thought I had messed up each step. The caramel sauce was extremely difficult to make until I finished it and realized that I had done it correctly. Definitely one of those “Look what you can do if you just believe!” type of moments that I really need to hear right now.

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butter melting in caramel sauce
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absorbing the sauce
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The finished product

Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/964319/sticky-toffee-pudding-toffee-sauce

 

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