English Sticky Toffee Pudding
Our failsafe formula for Britain’s moist, gooey date-and-caramel dessert.
1 hour 35 minutes
In this version of the classic English dessert, adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes, dates are soaked in stout beer and then puréed, resulting in a super-moist crumb. This recipe first appeared in our December 2014 issue in the story England's Sticky Toffee Pudding Trail. To pull out all the stops, serve it in a pool of vanilla-thyme crème anglaise.
For the pudding:
- 1 cup stout beer, preferably Guinness Extra Stout
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 10 large pitted Medjool dates
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
For the toffee sauce:
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar, or dark brown sugar
- 16 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and pod reserved
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
Make the pudding: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside. In a small pot, bring the beer to a boil, then stir in the baking soda and dates and set aside. When warm to the touch, transfer to a food processor and purée.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and vanilla until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a silicone spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients alternating with the reserved date mixture. You should have a smooth batter.
Scrape into the prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Make the toffee sauce: In a pot set over medium heat, bring the sugar, butter, and vanilla seeds and pod to a simmer. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, lemon juice, and salt, then strain and set aside to cool until warm to the touch.
To serve, cut the pudding into squares and drizzle with the sauce.