Sticky Toffee Pudding is a traditional English dessert that is made sweet with pureed dates and decadent caramel toffee. It is, indeed, sticky and gooey and sweet and absolutely lovely when you have a hankering for a rich dessert. I put a north American spin on this version by adding maple syrup to the caramel sauce and I will debate any English person as to how it made it just that much better.
When working with caramel-type sauces, always choose a pot that is bigger than you think you need because the sugar will bubble up considerably and spilled caramel burnt onto the stovetop is a bummer.
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
½ cup Sugarmaker’s Cut Pure Maple Syrup
1 cup sugar
6 oz pitted dates
¾ cup water
¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
To make the maple toffee put all of the toffee ingredients into a medium-large sized pot. Turn the heat on high to melt and blend all of the ingredients and when it starts to bubble, turn it back down so the toffee is gently simmering. Cook until it reduces in volume and starts to turn light brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter 6 ramekins.
Put the dates and water in a small pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the dates have softened. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Let the mixture cool.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl. In a separate, medium-sized bowl cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla and pureed dates. Fold in the flour mixture.
Take the buttered ramekins and pour about a tablespoon of the cooled toffee into the bottom of each. Add the batter on top so it comes ¾ the way to the top. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cakes and invert onto a dessert plate. Gently heat the remaining toffee and spoon it over the top. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.