In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from one in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Heavenly Cakes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), dates are soaked in stout beer and then pureed, resulting in a super-moist crumb. This recipe first appeared in our December 2014 issue with the story England’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Trail.
For the Pudding
- 1 cup stout beer, preferably Guinness Extra Stout
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 10 large pitted dates
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
For the Toffee Sauce
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, preferably Plugrà
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- Make the pudding: Heat oven to 350°. Boil beer in a 1-qt. saucepan. Stir in baking soda and dates; let cool. Transfer to a food processor; purée until smooth. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the motor running, slowly add dry ingredients, alternating with reserved date mixture, until a smooth batter forms; pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the pudding comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Make the sauce: Simmer sugar, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream, lemon juice, and salt. Strain sauce; let cool. Cut pudding into squares; drizzle with sauce.