Return to the home of Sticky Toffee Pudding
August 8, 2009 § 5 Comments
Our good friends Simon and Penny were over from Hong Kong for a couple of weeks in August and threw a small party at their house in the Lake District, Ormathwaite Hall on a Saturday 8 August. I offered to bring Sticky Toffee Pudding as my contribution to the catering.
The meal began with plenty of champagne – Simon is a very generous host – accompanied by crudites and dips. Another friend and excellent cook Shelley had prepared a delicious lamb tagine served with couscous.
My sticky toffee pudding with served with extra sticky toffee sauce and ice cream finished things off pretty well and guest numbers being larger than anticipated, it was served in mercifully tiny portions – just right to finish off the meal.
The prepared pudding is shown below fresh out of the oven at home. It is very easy to transport, doesn’t need refrigeration and reheats beautifully so is a perfect choice for taking to a party in advance.
Sticky Toffee Pudding can be found on menus all over the Lake District, from where it originates, and indeed all over the UK and beyond all year round. Jane Grigson is one of my favourite food writers and is a consistently reliable source of information. In her book “English Food” she reminds us that Sticky Toffee Pudding is by no means an ancient traditional English pudding but was devised by Francis Coulson who opened the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Ullswater in 1948. The Sharrow Bay can lay claim to being the first country house hotel and Francis Coulson’s recipes are generous in their use of butter and cream: his sticky toffee pudding recipe is no exception.
The recipe I use comes from one of chef/Lake District hotel proprietor John Tovey’s books with one modification of my own – the use of soft fudgy Medjool dates rather than ordinary ones. The grated orange zest in the sauce really lifts the flavour in a subtle way and cuts through the sugar and syrup. I’m afraid I don’t know which of John Tovey’s books it comes from – my copy of the recipe was dictated to me over the phone by my mum some years ago so all I have is a list of ingredients and brief manuscript notes in my personal recipe book.
Recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding
For the pudding
4 oz butter
6 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz sr flour
8 oz Medjool dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp camp coffee essence
10 fl oz boiling water
For the topping
2 tbsp double cream
3 oz soft brown sugar
2 oz butter
For the sauce
8 oz golden syrup
few drops vanilla essence
2 oz butter
2 oz soft brown sugar
Grated rind of 2 oranges
2 tbsp double cream (optional)
9”-10” lined square tin; 180C 350F
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour sifted with the bicarbonate of soda. Add the dates. Dissolve the coffee essence in the boiling water and pour into the mixture. Beat until mixed. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 ½ hours.
To make the topping, combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the cooked pudding and brown under a hot grill.
To make the sauce, melt all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Serve with chilled pouring cream or vanilla ice cream as well as the toffee sauce.