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25.11.2016

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A sticky toffee pudding with a twist! The dates are soaked in chai, and carob syrup is used instead of treacle or molasses. So how about that? As for the toffee sauce… You’re going to want a big spoon.

My last post was kind of a marathon so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Sweet being the operative word. Have you ever tried sticky toffee pudding? It’s a classic British dessert, consisting of a cake made with dates and an absolutely amazing toffee sauce. It’s best eaten warm and you can add some vanilla ice cream or custard if you want, but it’s just as gorgeous on its own.

Chai Carob Sticky Toffee Pudding www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A piece of sticky toffee pudding with sauce all over it and down the sides, sitting on a white plate, light coming from behind darkening the front of the cake and making the sauce shine on top.

So what are the words chai and carob doing in a British classic? Well, I was planning on using black tea to soak the dates, as I saw in a recipe by Rachel Allen, but then I had a lightbulb moment and thought why not try chai instead? Some recipes have mixed spice in the batter, so I knew the spiciness of the tea would suit the cake. And the carob syrup came to me while trying to figure out what I could use instead of treacle, something that would be easier for people to find here in Greece. It has a different taste but the same depth of flavour and dark sweetness. You can’t distinguish it from the other ingredients, it just adds to the end result. If you prefer treacle, molasses or golden syrup feel free to use any of those. Or even honey. I tried it with honey for the Greek recipe and it’s great.

Chai Carob Sticky Toffee Pudding www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Side view of a plate with a piece of sticky toffee pudding on it, sauce running down the sides, in front of a dark background.

Shall we get to the toffee sauce already? It’s magnificent. It’s amazing. It’s easy to make. It’s dangerous. You’re going to want to pour it on everything. It’s actually butterscotch, not sure why it’s called toffee here. Toffee is butterscotch cooked till hard crack stage, it’s not a sauce. Maybe the name sounded better with “toffee” in it. Who knows. Who cares? It’s amazing. I already said that. Moving on.

If you are on a diet you need to click away as fast as you can. Go to the salad category (please don’t leave me altogether!). But can I just suggest you quit the diet? Just saying.

Chai Carob Sticky Toffee Pudding www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: An overhead view of a piece of sticky toffee pudding with sauce all over it and down the sides, sitting on a white plate. Plate and pudding are to the side of the photo, half visible, sitting on a white marble-like surface.

Chai Carob Sticky Toffee Pudding it is then. Here goes.

Ingredients

225gr dates, Medjool are best, pitted and finely chopped

1 chai tea bag (or 1 English Breakfast tea bag)

175ml boiling water

175gr self raising flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

85gr butter, room temperature

140gr soft dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbs carob syrup (or Greek honey)

100ml milk, full fat

For the Butterscotch sauce

120gr brown sugar, granulated

120gr butter

120ml heavy cream

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160C fan assisted (180C conventional). Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line it with baking paper.

Step 2

Put the chopped dates into a small saucepan. Put the teabag in the boiling water for a few seconds (as if making tea) then pour both into the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, give the teabag a good squeeze and throw away, and set the pan aside.

Step 3

In a small bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk to incorporate.

Step 4

In another bowl beat the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the eggs and beat some more. Add the syrup or honey and continue beating till smooth again. Pour in the milk and beat on low till incorporated. Fold in the flour till almost invisible.

Step 5

With the back of a spoon, mash the soaked dates with the tea as much as possible. It will absorb all the liquid. Fold this mixture into the cake batter till just incorporated.

Step 6

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes.

Step 7

While the cake is baking make the sauce. Put the sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat till the butter has melted. Start stirring until it’s incorporated with the sugar and the mixture thickens. Add the cream while stirring quickly and continue cooking until the sauce thickens a little again (it will be runnier than before). Transfer to a small jug or other serving vessel.

Step 8

Serve the sticky toffee pudding warm with a generous drizzle of sauce. You can add vanilla ice cream or custard if desired.

Notes:
- The cake gets better after a couple of days. So it’s a brilliant make ahead dessert for busy holiday get-togethers! Store in an airtight container or in the fridge, and warm up before serving. A few seconds in the microwave will do the trick.
- If you are planning on serving the whole thing soon, you can drizzle some of the sauce over the cake and let it sit for a while. It will become even juicier. Serve with extra sauce.
- You can also cook the cake in individual molds or muffin tins. You’ll need 12. Mini bundt pans are fab for this as you can pour sauce in the hole and behave all childishly.
- The recipe is adapted from this one on the BBC Good Food website. The soaking in tea twist is Rachel Allen’s, found here.

1 ratings, avg : 5.00

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