Sticky Toffee Pudding {Or, God Bless the British}

Ok, so we've had sticky toffee pudding all over the world, including some of the finest British establishments. This is the first time we've ever attempted making the real thing, meaning a steamed cake and some thick sauce - not some bullshit cake baked in an oven with some watery overly sweet topping shit. 

This recipe is adapted from this confusing British recipe. We've modified it to make sense in 'Merica. But still - you'll need a scale, because it's way more accurate than measuring cups. Get over it. 

For the cake you'll need:

  • A handfull of turbinado sugar
  • a chunk of butter for greasing
  • 7 ounces pitted dates
  • 7 ounces water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (I didn't actually have vanilla bean paste. I don't know what the fuck that even is. One time I made vanilla extract and once those beans were tapped out, I dehydrated them and ground them into a powder. I used a tbsp of this powder + 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean paste. I don't know what the fuck to tell you to use. Be creative. We're not curin' cancer here.)
  • 1 & 3/4 ounces butter, softened
  • 6 ounces dark brown sugar (I never buy brown sugar. I don't know why. So I made some. It's 1 tbsp molasses to 1 cup of sugar. But don't mix it with an electric whisk and get the shit everywhere like my boyfriend did. Just mix it like a normal person in a calm, relaxed way.)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup - the real shit, don't skimp
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 7 ounces flour (seriously. get a scale. measure in a real way.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda

K, so first - you're gonna need a bowl to use as the mold for the cake. We used a metal mixing bowl that could hold 48 ounces of liquid. You could use a ceramic bowl or really whatever the fuck you want as long as it's oven safe and the right capacity and it's in the shape you want your cute little cake to be. Also - whatever bowl you use has to be able to fit inside of the pot that you're going to steam the cake in. Just bear with me. It will all make sense in the end. 

Anyway - so grease the SHIT out of the bowl with your chunk of butter. And use butter. Don't use that toxic shit in a spray can. Gross. You need the thickness of actual butter. 

Then take your hand full of turbinado sugar, throw it in the bowl and then shake the bowl to coat the sugar all around. Discard any sugar that doesn't stick to the sides. You don't want gross clumps of sugar in your cake. 

Throw your dates and water in a pot and boil for 4 minutes. Then dump the whole mix - water included - into the food processor. Add the "vanilla bean paste" and blend. It doesn't need to be perfect and smooth as shit, but you also don't want huge wads of dates. Think "coarse but not chunky". Calm your tits and walk away from your dates for now. 

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Go and get another bowl and cream the softened butter and brown sugar together. Then add the syrup, molasses, flour, eggs, and baking soda. Now you can touch your delicious dates again. Dump them in with all of that other shit. 


Dump your batter into the greased/sugared bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil, and grease the side of the foil that will be facing the inside of your batter bowl. If your bowl does not have a prominent lip on it that you can secure the foil around then you will need to use some string and tie the foil, because that shit will steam up and off and then you're cake is fucked.

Now here's the steaming set up: get a pot that is large enough for your greased/sugared bowl to go in. Inside that pot, put some cooling racks or some trivets or anything that will allow your  bowl to sit up a half an inch or so - just enough so it's not touching the bottom. Now put your bowl in. If you have any sense of decency, then you have an electric kettle. Go and put the kettle on because you need some boiling water. Or, if you're just totally uncultured and your life doesn't make any sense, then boil a bunch of water on the stove. Because now you need to fill the pot with enough boiling water to go half way up your batter bowl. Then cover the pot with a lid, fire up the burner on low (you just need steam not fucking boiling water the whole time), and set a timer for 2.5 hours. For reals - two and a half fucking hours. Christ. 

Now for the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the flour, but be whisking the shit constantly or it'll clump up and be soops nasty. Cook for one hot minute and then slowly stream in your milk, continuing to whisk CONSTANTLY. I'm not kidding about this part. Who wants lumpy ass sauce? I don't. 

Once all your milk is in, continue heating until the whole mixture is bubbling and is looking thick and crazy. Take it off the heat and mix in the syrup, salt, and molasses. 

If you're like me and you made the sauce way too fucking early, you can reheat it - but if you reheat it make sure you do it over a double boiler set up otherwise you'll burn the shit out of it and it'll be overcooked and grody. 

Ok now back to the cake. It's done. Take the lid off carefully. Now you'll need some heat proof silicone oven mits for your little paws otherwise you'll burn the shit out of them while you take the bowl out -- regular cloth hot pads will not do as everything is wet and soaks right through. So gear up, take the bowl out, and then remove the foil. Invert the bowl onto a plate or platter or whatever the fuck you want it to go on (you will not be able to move it after you invert it, so be fucking sure).

Dump the sauce on top in the middle and watch it ooze all down the sides. 


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