Sometimes you just have to trust your gut. (Sticky Toffee Pudding)

Yesterday, I got a terrible craving for sticky toffee pudding. This would not be so unusual, except that I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding. I’ve never seen sticky toffee pudding. Indeed, I had to Google sticky toffee pudding to find out what on earth it is. I’m not sure how I can crave something that I know so little about, but there you have it.

Maybe it’s the words. Sticky toffee pudding. It just sounds good, doesn’t it? I don’t even really like butterscotch (especially in those little plastic cups of pudding.) For some reason, I associate butterscotch with toffee. That’s not really fair, but it’s still true. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch and dulce de leche. But butterscotch aside, this – this sounds amazing.

Oh, it is amazing. It’s a soft cake studded with little bits of raisin, draped in caramel sauce and broiled and then served in a puddle of more caramel sauce. Um, yum? At midnight, as my brother finally made it home (seriously, what are you doing at work that late?), he declared he was going to pour the sauce into a mug and drink it. I’m not sure how that worked out for him, but there’s plenty left to dump on top of my breakfast pudding.
Sticky toffee puddings are a soft quick-cake studded with dried fruit, usually dates. Most recipes I found were riffs or variations on the one below. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about the way I made this.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Adapted from Udny Arms Hotel via Natalie MacMaster
Allow 1 1/2 hours. Makes one 13″x9″ pudding.

Cake
1 1/2 cups raisins, chopped *
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour

Sauce
2 3/4 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Put chopped raisins and baking soda in a bowl, and pour both cups of boiling water over – allow to set for 10 minutes or so.
3) While the raisins are plumping, cream together the 1/2 cup butter and the powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. **
4) Mix together the raisin mixture and the butter mixture, then beat in flour.
5) Pour into a buttered 13×9 pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. ***
6) Meanwhile, melt together the 1 cup butter, the 2 3/4 cups brown sugar and the 2 cups heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Allow to come to a boil, then take off the heat.
7) When cake is baked, prick all over with a skewer or large fork. Pour or spread 1-2**** cups of the caramel sauce over the cake. Allow to soak into the cake a bit (5 minutes), then broil at 500 until the sauce bubbles, 2-3 minutes.

Serve with additional caramel sauce. If you want more calories, add whipped cream or ice cream.

*The original recipe calls for dates, but I don’t keep them in my pantry. Also, I don’t know that I’ve ever cooked with them and don’t know that I like them. I used raisins.
** At this point, the original recipe had you fold in the flour. If you do that, you get a very stiff dough, which you are then supposed to mix into a boiling water and raisin slurry. It does not go over well. You get little white specks of dough throughout your batter. Skip this.

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