Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

I recently subscribed to Food and Wine magazine. I subscribed mostly because my favorite cooking show ever is Top Chef, and each season the winner is featured in Food and Wine. Of course the magazine also has some excellent recipes, including the amazing Veggie Burger recipe I blogged a few months ago. This recipe is actually from the November 2002 issue. I stumbled on it looking for date recipes. I had shared some dates with my daughter at Christmas for an appetizer recipe, and she used the rest of hers to make a babka filling. I read reviews from people who had made this pudding cake and one lady referred to the recipe as ”life changing.” It has become her go to holiday dessert. I still had plenty of dates so how could I resist a life changing recipe!

While doing my date homework I learned that they are mentioned in the Bible more than 50 times, and 20 times in the Qur’an. Dates are a fruit that comes from a date palm which is native to the Middle East. They are naturally very sweet, high in fiber, high in antioxidants, and a good source of potassium and vitamin B6. We all know it helps to rationalize how healthy our sweet treats are! Just think of this dessert as a life changing health food that tastes amazing.

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) of chopped, pitted dates

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

4 T unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Sauce Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp brandy (I used bourbon)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10 inch round pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. In a saucepan cover the dates with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. It will foam up. Allow the dates to cool slightly.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. In a medium size bowl (or stand mixer) cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In 2 alternating batches, beat in the dry ingredients and the date mixture until just incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking make the sauce. In a heavy, medium size sauce pan bring the brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream to a boil over moderate heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Simmer and continue whisking for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, brandy (or bourbon), and salt. Keep warm.

When the cake is done allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a rack and peel off the parchment paper. Carefully return the cake, top side down, to the pan and poke about 15-20 holes in the cake with a skewer.

Pour half of the warm sauce over the cake and let stand until the sauce has absorbed into the cake.
Invert onto a platter and poke another 15-20 holes in the top. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche or whipping cream.

Enjoy every bite of this healthy, life changing dessert.

2 thoughts on “Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

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