Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Dish: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Difficulty: Medium

Utensils Used: Electric whisk, blender, wooden spoon, spatula

Cock Ups: About... four?

Recipe Book: Jamie Oliver

Cooking: So, to pair with my Ratatouille, I decided to make a Sticky Toffee Pudding. Not because of any great love for the sticky toffee pudding, but simply because it was the first pudding recipe I found that didn't look overly complex or grim. Why do people try so hard with pudding? I like simple and traditional.

First of all, I chopped 225g of dates and put them in a bowl with 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 7floz of boiling water to soften.

I then creamed 85g of unsalted butter with 170g of caster sugar, obviously with the wooden spoon stated in the recipe. Cough.

By the time this was done, my kitchen was liberally spattered with sugar and butter and the dates were ready to be blended. Wait, blended? I don't have a blender. Oops. I should really learn to read recipes before I start cooking.

Fortunately, my mother was on hand once again to save my culinary life. My sister walked round with her soup blender, and I got stuck in to turning the dates and water into date puree. I added 170g Self Raising Flour, 1/4tsp of cinnamon, 1/4tsp mixed spice and 2tbsp of Ovaltine. Now, because Ovaltine is disgusting and I won't drink it, I bought one of those individual sachets, poured it all in and hoped for the best. At this point, I realised that I had no eggs.

With my sister already at my house, blender in hand, I couldn't exactly send her back for eggs (my mother has chickens now, and so a ready supply of eggs) so I waited for the Boyfriend to get home and sent him in the car instead. When he returned (much later than I expected - stress - photos get a bit dodgy here on out as I was rushing!) I whisked the dry ingredients together with two eggs, then folded in 2tbsp of natural yoghurt and the date puree.

This was then cooked in a preheated oven at 180C for 35mins.

Almost instantly I realised we were in danger of some overflow.

About 25mins into the cooking, I measured out 115g of butter and muscovado sugar, then added 140ml of double cream to cook together over a low heat until everything is nicely blended.

I ended up cooking the cake a little longer than the 35mins after testing it by poking a knife through it to find there was still uncooked dough at the bottom of the blade when I pulled it out. (A little trick my mother taught me when I used to occasionally make cakes with her.) When it did come out of the oven, it left a bit of an overflow behind...

Slice, pour over a little sauce and serve with ice cream.

Washing Up Required: See Ratatouille post - not much anyway.

Result: Tipping it over onto the plate to serve was possibly the most intense moment of my life, but it was perfect! Cooked all the way through and, aside from the very edges, nicely moist.

Taste Test: The Boyfriend did initially tell me it tasted like bird poo, bit it didn't stop him eating an enormous piece. He later confessed he was kidding.

Due to an excess of cake, we shared round with our families too, all of whom enjoyed it.

Overall Verdict: Actually quite easy, though clearly I need a bigger loaf tin. Really tasty too.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

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