Duchess Kate may have a flair for fashion, but she's also more than au fait with the most classic of British desserts; the sticky toffee pudding. A common feature on many pub menus, this dessert is Kate's favorite sweet. If you're not familiar with this old-school pud, you're in luck, because we've rounded up all the deets.
Sticky toffee pudding is made up of two utterly scrumptious elements; a fluffy cake made with soaked dates and a super-sweet toffee sauce that's poured over the top just before serving. The dates, which lend the cake a caramelly flavor, are soaked in hot water to soften them up before they're incorporated into a batter made with brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour, and treacle. If you've never used treacle before, think of it as being in the same family as molasses or corn syrup. While it isn't quite as thick or intense as molasses, it has a darker color and similar flavor that elicits a moist richness in the texture of baked goods.
Once steamed or baked, the cake is portioned up and served with a temptingly sweet sauce that's made by heating heavy cream, muscovado sugar, and butter together until they reach a thick but pourable consistency. The sugar lends the sauce a caramel-like aroma that seeps down into the cake, making it almost fudgy in texture.
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What To Serve With Sticky Toffee Pudding
The traditional accompaniment to a classic sticky toffee pudding is hot vanilla-scented custard. However, the richness of the hot caramel teams equally as well with a scoop of ice cream. There's something heavenly about the dreamy combination of gooey sauce, tender cake, and a generous dollop of soft serve that turns this pudding into the ultimate hot and cold dessert.
Having said that, you might prefer to enjoy your pud with unsweetened whipped cream to offset the sugariness of the sauce. The benefit of this move is that you'll still create an ambrosial pool of velvety caramel at the bottom of your bowl as the cream gently melts, without adding extra sweetness to your dessert.
Sticky toffee pudding is often eaten in small portions because of its characteristic heaviness, which can often become cloying when served in large amounts. The key is to bake it in a large dish and cut it into manageable portions before serving or make individual servings using small ramekins. Simply cascade your hot toffee sauce over your cake just before serving or decant it into a jug so your fellow diners can pour on as much as they like. Indeed, the beauty of this classic pudding is that you can make it ahead, warm it up before serving, and simply combine it with the sauce when seated at the table.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.