It’s not pretty. It’s definitely sticky. It’s pretty tasty. If I were a little more ambitious, I’d tell you a story about Sticky Toffee Pudding. I’m lazy, so I’ll just link to Wikipedia here.
Back in October, my friend Millie sent me a link to this recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding in the Seattle Times. (Coincidentally enough, there was another recipe in the Seattle TImes the day I made these. I might wish I had seen this one first…)
I started my task by chopping dates. Being unfamiliar with dates, I didn’t realize how unbelievably sticky they are! I started out chopping them with the kitchen scissors, but ended up using the food processor so I didn’t end up stuck to the kitchen wall or something. After chopping them I added them to 1 cup of boiling water in a sauce pan and let them sit until the water was absorbed. Then, I added a teaspoonful of baking SODA and let it sit for 20 minutes…resulting in this….
I almost had to run to the store. I looked in my baking powder can and it was almost empty. I scooped out a half of a teapoonful and there was almost as much left in the can, so I just dumped the rest into 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour.
In the Kitchen Aid bowl, I creamed together 1 stick of softened butter and a cup of light brown sugar, then added 2 eggs and some vanilla. After that, I dumped in the flour mixture and stirred until combined, then the same with the date mixture. I scooped into mini cupcake pans and baked for 16 minutes or so at 350 degrees. (I ended up with around 36 minis.)
I followed the recipe directions for the sauce, but made just a 1/2 a batch. I originally was going to fill them with the sauce then make a muscovado Italian Meringue butter cream, but after trying just the cake and the sauce, I decided they were done. The sauce was easy. I combined 1/2 stick of butter, 1 cup muscovado (VERY BROWN) sugar, and 3/4 cup heavy cream and boiled it until it thickened up. I poked a couple of holes in each cupcake using a drinking straw, then spooned some sauce over. The sauce hardened as it cooled (and did not reheat smoothly) and I ended up icing the last few cakes with the toffee rather than pouring it. There was enough sauce for probably 24-30 of the 36 cakes. (A few cakes that were stuck to the pan got eaten pretty quicky….as a quality check…I didn’t count the ones that I packed up to take to work.)
The response at work today was very positive. I have a pound of dates left over and I’m thinking about throwing them in the food processor with some almonds to make some homemade Larabars.