One of the upsides of getting visits from Europe, on top of the friendly company, is the culinary treasures brought to you. Smuggled in to be accurate. And for a French girl, still trying to figure out her food sourcing, it’s a big deal.
This weekend we’ve been offered Caramels au beurre salé de Guérande (salted caramels). I understood quickly I better hide a few if I ever wanted to get a taste of them. ( hubby gobbles down faster than anyone around )
Opportunity makes a thief : here I am stealing away my own salted caramels to bake a sticky toffee pudding. Back in London, I had conducted a comprehensive market study on this iconic dessert. In some places they were too dry, some too sweet, some to die for… let’s see where I’ll end up now that I am in the driver seat…
For the pudding :
- 75g butter
- 175g stone dates
- 200ml water
- 1 tps bicarbonate of soda
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 175g self rising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp. fudge pieces ( that’s where my caramels come into play )
- 75g macadamia nuts
For the sauce : these are the proportions if you want to serve the pudding with sauce on the side. I find it too much, so I divided by 2 quantities to get only the amount of sauce need to soak the pudding.
- 100g butter
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 150ml double cream
- Take the butter out of the fridge at least 2 hours before starting. Add a little extra to the 75g to grease your mould.
- Heat the oven on 180 degrees and butter your baking tin.
- Boil the water, put the dates in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a smooth mix. Gradually mix in the beaten eggs one after the other. Then add the flour and baking powder. As I did not have self rising flour I increased the baking powder to 1 full tsp. Stir in the dates and their soaking water before adding the fudge ( ooups my caramels are not soft enough… I melted them in the microwave but that’s not ideal to be honest ). Finally add 50g of the nuts to the mix.
- Pour the preparation in the baking tin, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. As I used quite a narrow and deap baking tin it baked for 40/45 minutes. The pudding was very fluffy and moist as I like it to be.
- Prepare the sauce : melt the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Bring to the boil, and let bubble for 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the spoon.
- Heat the grill to high. Make holes all over the cooked pudding and pour half of the sauce over it. Grill for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. That stage I have done later, right before serving the pudding. It also gave it the little warm up it needs so it’s quite convenient to do so.
Serve with the remaining warm toffee sauce and icecream.
Close your eyes, and forget the bikini season ahead to enjoy this indulging treat !
This recipe comes from an English book, because I trust they’re the reference in the matter : Pies & puds from Paul Hollywood.