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Monday, February 28, 2011

HCB: Sticky Toffee Pudding

This week's selection from HCB is Sticky Toffee Pudding. I have to admit that I am not looking forward to this cake at all. It sounded very much like a spice cake, which we did not enjoy much. If this cake had ben scheduled last year, I would have probably skipped it. But as it is nearing the end for the group - with Marie only having 8 cakes left. And I'm over 2/3rd done with the book, I am determined not to miss any cakes from this point on.

So sticky toffee pudding it is for this week. I made 1/3 of the recipe, baked in silicone cupcake pans, sans wrapper. 1/3 recipe yield 5 cupcakes.

I actually didn't even realized that Rose provided the mini/individual serving option, to be baked in ramekins or small brioche mold. Had I realized it, I might have done that. I don't regret making mine in cupcake pans though, the result looked cute (and yes it's all about mini and cuteness at Knitty Baker's house). As my dear blogger friend Monica said, the cuteness is killing her (in a good way). Don't die on me Monica, I don't know what I'd do without you!

The cake is fairly easy to make. It calls for boiling guiness stout beer and then macerating dates in it. We don't drink beer so I followed Hanna's path and use ginger ale instead. I've never boiled ginger ale before and never add baking powder into it either. It was fun to see the ale hisses at the baking powder. Then add the dates to the hot ginger ale liquid.

While the ginger ale is cooling, I prepped the rest of the ingredients. The good thing about making 1/3 recipe is that it takes so much faster for things to cool down. So after 15 minutes the ginger ale mixture has cooled. I took Hanaa's advice and use my immersion blender to puree the ale.

Next mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the mixer. Add the eggs in 3 additions, beating after each one. Let me tell you that it's not easy splitting 1 egg into 3 additions, but I managed somehow. Once all the egg is added, add in the dry ingredients mixture and the dates mixture, alternating between the two.

While the cupcakes are baking, I contemplated making the sauce. It looks easy enough, but super rich. All that butter. I was, nevertheless, intrigued. Then I read the name of the sauce: "butterscotch toffee sauce." That just sounded so heavenly. So I made 1/5th of it. Crazy math, I know! But I figured that this way I get to taste it and find out what it's like, but not feeling guilty of using 2 sticks of butter.

I skipped out the creme fraiche because I forgot to buy it. On the 1st photo up above, I just poured the sauce over it. But then thought that I should still use pecans even though I have no cream. So there are pecans in the second photo. I couldn't decide which photo is better. I like the subtle-ness of the first one, but love the color pop of the second one. So I'm posting both. I hope you guys like the pictures :).

You can find the recipe on David Leite's website here.

Tasting impressions:
I had very low expectations of this cake. And it turned out better than the spice cake. I heated it up in the microwave (with the sauce) for 10 seconds and it's nice, warm, and moist. The sauce really add a nice flavor to the cake. And I love the crunchy pecan alongside it. I'm not sure this cake will be on a repeat list, but I'm glad I made it. At least now I know what sticky toffee pudding is!


  1. your photos are great--but i think i like the with pecans shots better. the blue is a fabulous pop but the pecans add texture and interest. you are a baking math whiz! i still feel unsure when i cut a recipe in half--but 1/5th? now that is brave.

  2. Well done for making a cake that you weren't that interested in! Looks like you had success anyway; your images look divine. That sauce does sound good too. Oh gosh, everything in this recipe is right up my alley!

  3. this one went straight to my heart! Oh my goodness! How cute is that? I agree, the blue just pops and I'm loving the tear-drop serving plate - Me thinks I need to do a trip to your neck of the woods and go prop shopping!

  4. Your photos are amazing! I love the tear drop plate too.

    This cake looks delicious.

  5. ECL - I'm getting braver with the math, the more I do it. Rose gives the measurement in grams, so dividing it by 5 is not hard, all you need is a calculator.

    Brittany - the recipe link is there, so you can go make it!

    Monica - you are welcome any day in my neck of the woods. But the plates is appetizer plate from crate and barrel (still available) and the blue is a piece of cloth from Joann. Total cost is $5.

    Candy - thanks! Glad you like the photo.

  6. Beautiful pictures, as always. Glad to see that the cupcake shape worked. I was thinking these would make great muffins (sans caramel glaze) :o) Too bad these weren't a favorite, like they are for me, but I'm still glad you enjoyed them.

  7. Gorgeous photos and I love your swirly plate (might have to make a trip to crate and barrel)! I like the blue background, overhead picture best.

  8. Hate to be a copy cat but your photos really are gorgeous! Also wanted to let you know that I've awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award. You can find out all the details on my blog. Congratulations!

  9. Oh my!!! This is going to be bad for me... I can't NOT bake these now... my poor thighs!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  10. The ingredients and the prep for this sounds so interesting. I have always wanted to make sticky toffee pudding and yours looks fabulous!

  11. Great pictures! You used a muffin pan, then?


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