Richly spiced and undeniably comforting, this sticky toffee pudding from Toronto bakery Bobbette & Belle gets even better when smothered in hot, bourbon caramel sauce. As Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell note in their new cookbook, “It falls under the category of what we call ‘comfort desserts’ because it has the added benefit of making you feel a little bit better instead of just a little bit fuller.”
Sticky Toffee Pudding
1¼ cups chopped pitted dates
1 cup water
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
¼ cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking soda
2¾ tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. nutmeg
⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
1¼ cups unsalted butter
1⅔ cups loosely packed brown sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. bourbon
1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan or a dozen 6-ounce ramekins with butter or non-stick cooking spray and arrange ramekins on a baking sheet.
To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, combine the dates and 1 cup water. Cook over medium heat until the dates have softened and the water has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Mix the instant coffee with ¼ cup hot water and add it to the dates. Continue cooking until all the liquid is gone. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the cooled date mixture.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and date mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just combined and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or fill individual ramekins two-thirds full.
Bake the ramekins for 20 minutes or the large pudding for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. For even baking, rotate the baking sheet front to back halfway through. Allow the pudding to cool slightly.
To make the bourbon toffee sauce, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cream and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon and vanilla.
Poke the tops of the baked pudding with a skewer and pour the sauce over the top, reserving some for serving. The pudding can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Reprinted with permission from Bobbette & Belle: Classic Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop by Allyson Bobbitt & Sarah Bell. Copyright © Bobbette & Belle Inc., 2016. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada Books Inc., a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved.