.....in my own (you know, humble) opinion:
In fact this is so good that I can't even show you a picture of it for fear that you would have to stop whatever you were doing and make it/eat it in the flashiest of flashes.
The above is, of course, a MASSIVE lie. The problem is that this is a recipe of mine which I constructed myself and have now made for different groups of people a number of times. But for whatever reason, I have failed to take photos on any of those occasions....nor have I prodded anyone else to take some delicious-looking snapshots for me. Oooooppppssss.
So, I will post the recipe and a picture of a sticky toffee pudding (thank you Google image search....) but I will guarantee you that, if you follow my recipe, it will be much, much delicious than the one in the picture tastes!!
For those not familiar with the unmitigated joys of sticky toffee pudding, I offer you this, from Wikipedia -Sticky toffee pudding is a British steamed dessert consisting of a very moist sponge cake, made with finely chopped dates or prunes, covered in a toffee sauce and often served with a vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream. It is considered a modern British ‘classic’, alongside Jam Roly-Poly and Spotted Dick puddings.
*In the U.K. we use the word "pudding" very differently to the North American usage. I had great fun explaining this to my Japanese friends when I was teaching them some stuff about British dishes. In both Japan and North America, "pudding" would normally be that set, custard-y yellow stuff which (for Brits) is kinda like what we would call Angel Delight. In the U.K. "pudding" is just another word for "dessert"; the two are completely interchangeable. When applied to a specific dessert (sticky toffee pudding, Christmas pudding, bread and butter pudding, rice pudding etc.) it is often an older, heavier type dessert.
*My sticky toffee pudding is not a traditional "steamed" version and I think steamed recipes are a bit out of fashion these days in general, just because it's not something we do so much any more. Mine is rather more like a normal baked cake, covered in sauce and then re-cooked.
This recipe is in two easy to follow parts:
Part the first - cake time!
Now, for this recipe, as always, I'm aware that I'm kind of all-over-the-place in terms of measurements, sometimes doing it Brit style (by weight) and sometimes American style (by volume/cups) but it all depends on where I was when I first tried and made up a recipe. At home in England I weigh ingredients but here in Canada and when I was in Japan, I measure using cups. However I make all kinds of recipes wherever I am by using the internet to do the conversions for me. Because I have these recipes in one form only (either weight or volume) I'd ask you to convert for yourself if you want to do this recipe by cup volume.
200g of dried dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda added to 275ml of boilng water
175g soft light brown sugar
150g butter, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
175g ounces self raising flour
First pour the boiling water/bicarb over three-quarters of the dates and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175c or 350f.
Blend together the butter, sugar and the soaked dates ( including the soaking water and bicarb).
Add the eggs and stir in the self raising flour.
Stir in the remaining unsoaked dates, then pour into a 30cm square greased cake tin
Bake for 30 minutes.
Whilst the cakey part is cooking, whip up this toffee sauce:
1 tsp vanilla
160ml heavy cream (in the U.K., use double cream, elsewhere, use the thickest you can buy.)
On the stove top, melt the butter over a medium heat then add the other ingredients, mixing well.
Simmer the sauce for 10 -15 mins until it has thickened to a good consistency. Leave to cool.
The vital adding-everything-together part:
1. When the cake has been in the oven for 30 mins (it's not actually quite done yet so don't worry if it's a little wobbly seeming) pull it out and basically pretend you're cutting the cake into pieces - they don't have to be uniform and you don't have to do any specifc number, just make like you're slicing the cake all the way down to serve (even if it clearly isn't cooked all the way through).
2. Take the cooled toffee sauce and pour it all over your cake, giving it some time to sink through to the bottom.
3. Put the cake back in the oven for another 20 mins.
Serve warm and gooey.
If you have leftovers, you can also re-heat individual portions in the microwave the next day.
As promised....a pic of what sticky toffee pudding (roughly and deliciously) looks like :)