We had a little Blue-Eyed reunion this weekend.
You know, because New York wasn't quite cold enough, so the baking representative from Manhattan ventured north to Boston. Which will forthwith be referred to as the tundra.
So, there we are, up in the tundra. And what, you ask, do people do in the tundra?
Right. Obviously. In the tundra people stay inside and keep warm. So let's rephrase the question then.
What do insane people do in the tundra? They go for walks. Looooong walks. In many feet of snow. And they almost fall over like every 17 steps. And they actually fall over ever 62 steps. And they get cold. Like colder than they already were. Which FYI was really cold.
Chalk it up to the British blood coursing through our veins. We can't help ourselves.
Through the wind, sleet, snow and rain, we walk.
Psssssh hahahahaha! Whew whew whew...oh gosh. We're sorry...whew...that was a lie. A boldfaced lie.
The desire to walk soooo does not course through our veins (although our parents are another deranged walks-in-the-rain-loving story).
However, the desire to EAT pretty much will motivate us to do anything. Even exploratory tundra walks.
And knowing that this sticky toffee pudding would be waiting for us at home (and two types of homemade ice cream)?
Y'all. We were like world champion, gold medal speed walkers. In snow boots. On hills. And yes that's as hard as it sounds.
But cupcakes, seriously, have you seen this stuff?
Right. We know. We'll have some waiting for you when you get back from that walk.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
20-22 dates, pitted and chopped, about 1 1/4 cups
3/4 cup brewed black tea
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons heave cream
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl, combine chopped dates and hot brewed tea, vanilla extract and baking soda and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until mixture is pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add flour mixture and mix to incorporate. Fold in date mixture, including the tea.
Pour batter into a lightly buttered 8 inch square baking pan and bake until cake is set and dark golden, about 35 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently over a low flame until all the sugar has dissolved and the caramel darkens, 5-8 minutes.
Once the cake has baked, use a fork to poke holes all over the surface. Pour half the caramel sauce over the cake and let it absorb the sauce.
To serve, preheat the broiler and warm the remaining caramel sauce. Place cake under the broiler for 30 seconds to further caramelize the sauce (you can leave the oven door open and keep an eye on the cake, the sauce can burn quickly!). Top each piece with some additional caramel sauce, whipped cream and chopped pecans if desired.