Meet the Sticky Toffee "Pudding."
This week I am at the beach with my friends and therefore EXTREMELY limited on what I can make. There is no stand mixer and no food processor. And there are no ingredients just laying around in the fridge, waiting on me to pick them for the next cake.
So basically, my sticky toffee pudding had a nice little price tag on it because I had to buy things like cinnamon and baking powder and baking soda. Of course it had a few star ingredients as well since it must earn the compliments that Rose gave it. Here are the star ingredients of the week:
Those are pitted dates. My friends thought they looked gross. I explained that just as if you had never eaten a raisin, you would think it looked nasty too. It's the same concept. I'm convinced that most people do like dates, they are just too scared to try them and don't realize it when they are in foods that they enjoy.
And there's the Guinness. I love stout cakes because you get that yeasty flavor without using any yeast! Rose says that the beer gives it "the most compelling flavor of any I have tasted."
The cake wasn't that difficult at all. My dates ended up being way too small because Rose said to use about 6 dates for 6 oz and I used about 16 dates for 6 oz. You basically boil the beer in a saucepan and then throw the dates in to let it come to room temp. Once it's cooled (I impatiently stuck it in the fridge), you remove the dates and process them in a food processor. No beach house has a food processor but every beach house has a blender so I just stuck them in there. It worked out pretty well too. Then you add the beer into the now blended dates and make a nice little beer-date paste.
The rest is pretty basic. Whip up some butter and sugar, mix your flour-spice mixture, and then combine it all and pour it into a nice old pyrex. Voila.
My favorite is the toffee sauce that goes on top- YUM! Bring brown sugar, butter, and the insides of a vanilla bean to a boil and then add some heavy cream. It really tasted delicious on top of the cake (I kept pouring way more of it on there after rose's recommended 3 tablespoons).
And then for the crème fraîche topping.
I simply bought a container of crème fraîche at the grocery store. I think this was a mistake.
I'm currently reading David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious- and Perplexing - City. If you're not familiar with Lebovitz, he's a pastry chef who moved to Paris and chronicled his experience there. It's hilarious and he gives different recipes in every chapter. Definitely my kind of book.
In one chapter, he kept talking about how amazing the Parisian créme fraîche is. After his raves over it, he gave a recipe that he found is trés bonne. It's just heavy cream and buttermilk.
So then I thought about it and I do not think that the créme fraîche that I bought tastes anything near heavy cream and buttermilk. It tasted more like whipped sour cream... gross. Why do Americans have to mess these things up?
So here's my nice little créme fraîche, straight from the grocery store and whipped. I left it on for the picture at the top but none of us ate any at all. Next time I will be taking Lebovitz's advice and making my own.
Tasting: I loved it but I love anything with sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and beer. Everyone else seemed to like it too. They said it's great but didn't eat much. I don't know if that's because they were just full and didn't want any more sweets or of they didn't really like it and were just being nice? Ah well.
I'm still flipping through the book to figure out what else I can make this week. It's hard because I am at the beach and am exhausted at night after laying in the sun all day (poor pitiful me, i know). But I don't want to get behind on my cakes because that is a terrible habit to get into!
Roses's Heavenly Cakes:
batter- page 71
butterscotch toffee sauce- page 74
Pecan and Créme Fraîche Topping- page 74