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Anthony O'SHAUGHNESSY

Badass Geordie cook eating his way around the world. 

Glammed-Up Sticky Toffee Pudding

Glammed-Up Sticky Toffee Pudding

One of my favourite puddings, and a firm-favourite on British pub menus. It was born somewhere within the 1970's, in the English Lake District in Cumbria. I've visited the area a couple of times and tried the real deal sticky toffee pudding, which is native to the small Cumbrian village of Cartmel. You can buy their original recipe puddings to take away, and some speciality food shops stock their puddings. Not only do they do the original sticky toffee pudding, they do a sticky banana pudding, a sticky ginger pudding, a sticky chocolate pudding, and a sticky 'figgy' pudding. I tried them all and they're all binge-worthy delicious.

Making a sticky toffee pudding isn't hard, and I absolutely recommend making it at home instead of buying it in the shops already made, even if you're the sort of person who can never be arsed. Making sticky toffee pudding at home has attractive benefits. You can make absolutely loads of it, because it will be so addictive and you will be gagging for seconds and thirds. I personally make two pans of it at one time because I know people will come back for more. Also, you get total control over how much toffee sauce you want, instead of having to ration a mean serving of sauce you're often given in a shop-bought sticky pudding. Make it at home, and you can flood your gargantuan sticky toffee pudding in as much sauce as you like. Nobody is going to stop you. Just don't blame me for the subsequent weight gain.

A few things are essential for sticky toffee pudding: it must be made with dates. Even if you don't like dates, the key is to break them up so you don't get clotted, fibrous clumps of date in the pudding. If you process them the way I do, even the most staunch date-hater will be thrilled. As for serving, please don't serve it with hot custard. I beg you. It just cannot stand up to the sticky toffee sauce and you no longer feel the custard's presence. In my view, if you're going to have a tonne of calories, you want to taste they're there. I recommend cold, thick double cream. Hot and cold together in the mouth is one of life's most orgasmic oral pleasures you can experience. You don't need to know how I feel about eating sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream - sex on a spoon.

GLAM STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

  • 200g Dried Dates

  • 100g Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar

  • 50g Caster Sugar

  • 50g Butter

  • 2 large free-range Eggs

  • 200g Plain Flour

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

  • 2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 1 tablespoon Camp Coffee Extract (optional)

STICKY TOFFEE SAUCE

  • 120g Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar

  • 150g Unsalted Butter

  • 300ml Double Cream

  • pinch of Sea Salt

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 1 tablespoon Camp Coffee Extract (optional)

  • Edible Gold Glitter (optional)

  1. First I soften the dates by placing them into a saucepan with 250ml of tap water and one teaspoon of the bicarb of soda. Bring it all to a boil and therm leave it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and again. The dates should become soft and mushy and you should be able to mash them into a brown mulch.

  2. While the date mulch is hot, tip in the dark brown sugar, caster sugar and butter and stir in until everything has melted and no lumps of sugar remain. Adding these ingredients should cool the date mixture slightly. Crack in the two eggs, vanilla and coffee extract (if using) and whisk in until you have a runny date mixture.

  3. Prepare a large mixing bowl and add in the flour, baking powder and the remaining teaspoon of bicarb of soda. Tip the date mixture into the flour mixture and stir together until you have a gloopy, brown batter.

  4. Lubricate a small oven dish (approx 9" x 6" or equivalent) very generously with butter. Pour in the pudding batter and bake in a 180C oven for 40-45 minutes until domed in the middle and cooked through the centre. Meanwhile we will make the toffee sauce.

  5. Into a small saucepan, pour in the double cream and add the butter. Place onto a low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. When hot, add in the dark brown sugar, vanilla and coffee extract (if using) and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, turn off the heat and leave the sauce to stand. It will be very runny, but it will thicken as it stands and cools.

  6. Once the sticky toffee pudding is cooked and out of the oven, you may want to gently press the pudding down to flatten it slightly. This will prevent the sticky toffee sauce from gathering around the edges and spilling over the sides of the dish. Prick the pudding with a small knife - a skewer is too pathetic for this - a small knife will leave nice, large slits for the thick sticky toffee sauce to slither into when poured over.

  7. Pour over about 1/3 of the sticky toffee sauce, just enough to cover the pudding. Don't go too wild. You want to keep most of the sauce for drizzling over each portion once they’re on plates and in bowls. You can go wild then!

If I’m serving this to people, I like to make it a bit eccentric by dusting the pudding with edible gold shimmer glitter. I also dust a heavy amount over the pan of sticky toffee sauce, without stirring in, just before pouring which creates rippling, cascading patterns of gold sauce on the plate. I also like to add a tablespoon of Camp Coffee Syrup to the sticky toffee pudding and its sauce. It has a very dark flavour and complements any dish of a caramel or chocolate format. I personally consider it as an the antithesis to vanilla, and I like to use them both together to create a rich yet adult dimension to a dessert, particularly this
— ANTHONY'S SHOCK TIP
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