Whenever I’m planning a trip abroad, the first thing, without fail, that I think about is the food.
One of the best things about going to another country is experiencing its unique cuisine, and the dishes it is best known for. And, obviously, cake, pastries and dessert are my priorities for getting a true taste of wherever I’m visiting.
European countries such as France and Italy are well known for their sweet delicacies – who could go to Paris and not try a macaron, or spend a weekend in Rome without eating a gelato? And don’t get me started on Belgium and its chocolates…
I often wonder though, what people think when they come to England. What foods are we known for? There are many cakes, biscuits and desserts which are uniquely British but have people outside of the UK ever even heard of them?
For me, if there’s one thing that feels truly British, it’s a good pudding. Treacle sponge, jam roly poly, bread and butter pudding – all traditional, warming desserts that take a good week to burn off the calories of – that’s what say’s British sweet treats to me.
I don’t have many real ‘pudding’ recipes on the blog, largely because they’re the kind of thing that’s baked and eaten immediately, in the evening when there’s no light for taking photos, but I’m so glad I made the effort for TTT because let me tell you, this pudding is GOOD!
Sticky toffee pudding is a classic, which really doesn’t need improving. Unless of course you’re the friendly pony, in which case everything can be made better by adding chocolate.
This chocolate sticky toffee pudding, a Green & Blacks recipe, still has all the key ingredients of a traditional sticky toffee, but with a bar and a half of dark chocolate thrown in to intensify the flavour of the sponge and take it to a whole new level of indulgence.
This recipe makes a huge amount, and you honestly don’t want to know how many calories are in the sauce alone, but it is so worth it. Seriously, go make it now – it’s the perfect
winter any-time comfort pudding.
Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding (recipe from Green & Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes, also available online)
Served 12, generously
- 150g dark chocolate
- 150g pitted dates, chopped
- 300ml boiling water
- 100g butter
- 150g light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the sauce:
- 140g golden syrup
- 140g light brown sugar
- 50g butter
- 115ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Start by melting the chocolate over a low temperature then set aside. Add the dates to a saucepan with the boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the melted chocolate. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold in.
Pour the dates and their water into a food processor and blend to a puree. Stir this into the cake mixture, then spread into a greased and lined 8×8″ square cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until risen and springy to the touch.
To make the sauce, heat all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and stir until thickened. To serve, cut the warm cake into squares and pour the sauce over the top. Cream of ice cream will finish it off perfectly!