December 18, 2017

Toffee pudding: warm sticky and easy

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Ann from Astoria is looking for a “show stopper” dessert recipe that is not too difficult for a newbie.  Something to serve week nights or as a special treat for guests.  This toffee sticky pudding recipe looks complex, but it’s easy. I did it right on the first try, and I am not a baker.

When looking for a baking recipe I need to follow the KISS rule, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” So when I need an amazing KISS dessert I turn to Pastry Chef extraordinaire David Lebovitz.  David’s recipes are packed with the four qualities I look for in a recipe: well-written and tested, drool factor and simple.

I tested out David’s Warm sticky toffee pudding recipe recently at a dinner party with friends. I wanted to finish the meal in a simple and warm sort of way, with a dish that would make them feel at home.

Ann, this recipe rocked, try it out and get back to us.  Enjoy.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Dates and Candied Ginger
Eight servings

Adapted from David Lebovitz (Ingredients adapted for American shopping)

For the toffee sauce

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (90g) dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
pinch of salt

For the pudding

6 ounces (180g) pitted chopped dates (look for container of chopped and pitted dates)
1 cup (250ml) water
1 teaspoon baking soda
optional: 1/3 cup (40g) candied ginger, chopped
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (190C) and butter a 2.5 quart round casserole dish (CorningWare or similar) and place in freezer.

2. Make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, brown sugar, molasses and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.  Be careful not to let it boil over.

3. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared baking dish and place the dish in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.

4. To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the ginger (if using). Then set it aside, but keep it slightly warm.

5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

6. In a large mixing bowl, beat (by hand or electric mixer) the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. (Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks a bit curdled.)

7. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Don’t overbeat the batter.

8. Remove the baking dish from the freezer and scrape the batter into the baking dish and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.

9. Remove the pudding from the oven, and let cool slightly before serving.

Serving: Spoon portions of the cake into serving bowls and douse with additional warm toffee sauce. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are good accompaniments.  It is great served with good strong espresso and steamed milk.

Note: To make the pudding in advance, bake the cake without the toffee in the bottom. Let cool, then cover until close to serving time. Poke the cake about fifteen times with a chopstick. Distribute half of the sauce over the top, as shown in the photo, cover with foil, then re-warm in a 300F (150C) oven, for 30 minutes.

Enjoy and keep the questions coming in.

– Jonathan


  1. Hi,

    I made the pudding tonight, and it was incredible – and easy. I think my husband might just love me a little bit more because of it!

    Thanks a lot Chef!

    • Ann, really happy it worked out so well for you. Maybe we should call these types of recipes “Desserts with benefits” considering your husbands reaction.

      Thank you for writing in and keep the questions coming.

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