I thought I’d be cheeky today and have a little bit of a bake-off between the traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe, and the vegan version! We will square off the desserts, and may the best tasting win! Before we begin, I did want to take the time to thank my amazing reading audience for your unfailing support of my blog, and for making it a part of your everyday life! There are no words that could explain my gratitude for the joy you take in my passion as a writer. They say that those who have a knack for recognizing talent, also have gifts of their own:) I set a goal for myself in January, where I would accumulate 50 followers before the end of summer. I have to tell you that it was a very challenging six months, and I almost gave up hope of achieving my personal milestone. However, this morning I woke up to the notification of 50 followers strong!! Believe in yourself, and trust where the journey will take you.
Now, on to a stickier topic, Sticky Toffee Pudding! No, I am not English, but I do love the sound of a moist sponge cake, covered in a toffee sauce, served with custard or vanilla ice cream! I have to bow my head in shame to admit to you that I’ve never tried the dessert before, but I intend to rectify the matter this week! The problem is, which is the better dessert? Traditional? Or vegan-inspired? We must bring this challenge to the kitchen for combat, not leaving one detail out of the process. This is a fight to the taste testing!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces pitted dates, preferably Medjool (about 7 dates)
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of the cream with the butter, corn syrup and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 40 minutes. Carefully whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl.Step 2
In a small saucepan, simmer the dates in the water over moderately low heat until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and any liquid to a food processor and puree until very smooth.Step 3
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter six 1/2-cup ramekins. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the date puree. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean; let cool slightly.Step 4
Using a small serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes level with the rims of the ramekins. Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a wire rack. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Wipe out the ramekins and spoon 1 tablespoon of the toffee sauce into each. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce over the cakes and spread evenly. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling around the edges.StepStep 5
Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the insides of the ramekins; invert each pudding onto a dessert plate. Rewarm the remaining toffee sauce and spoon some around the puddings. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
*Recipe taken from foodandwine.com
Sticky Toffee Pear Pudding (Vegan)
8 small firm pears (we used Conference)
200g golden caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 lemon, zest pared
1 orange, zest pared
vegan ice cream, to serve (optional)
For the sponge
250g pitted dates
2 tbsp linseeds
300ml unsweetened almond milk
200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
175g dark muscovado sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground mixed spice
- STEP 1 Peel the pears and cut the bottom off each to give a flat base – cut them to a height that will fit snugly in your tin. Use a melon baller or small knife to cut out the pips from the base. Roughly chop the pear scraps, discarding the pips, and set aside. Tip the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, zests and 600ml water into a saucepan large enough to fit all the pears. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pears, cover with a lid or a piece of baking parchment, and poach gently for 15 mins until a knife easily slides into a pear. Leave to cool in the liquid.
- STEP 2 Now make the sponge. Put the dates and linseeds in a saucepan and add the almond milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for 2-3 mins until the dates are soft. Pour into a food processer and blitz until smooth. Add the oil and blend again, then scrape into a bowl and set aside to cool a little. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin (a loose -bottomed one if possible) with a strip of baking parchment.
- STEP 3 Put the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with 1/ 2 tsp salt. Mix well, breaking up any lumps of sugar with your fingers, and shaking the bowl a few times to encourage any remaining lumps to come to the surface. Add the date and oil mixture, and stir well. Fold in the chopped pear scraps. Scrape the cake mixture into the tin, then nestle in the pears, standing straight up, so that the bottom halves are covered. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cake is cooked through. Insert a skewer to the centre to check – it should come out clean. If there is any wet cake mixture on the skewer, return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 mins more, then check again.
- STEP 4 Meanwhile, bring the pear poaching liquid back to the boil and simmer until reduced to a glossy syrup. When the pudding is cooked, cool for 5-10 mins, then brush all over with the syrup, saving a little extra to serve alongside, with vegan ice cream, if you like.
*Recipe taken from bbcgoodfood.com
May the games begin in a kitchen near you! Let me know which recipe “takes the cake” for best dessert. Go ahead, get your bake on! Happy Thursday everyone!