All posts tagged “dessert

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Sticky toffee pudding

Sticky toffee pudding

This is one of my favourite desserts of all time. While sticky toffee pudding has a very explanatory name, it is also a little banal, which is unfair to this total babe. The spicy, plump cake is soaked overnight in toffee sauce, then doused in more hot toffee sauce, and finally served with a scoop of ice cream. It’s lavish, and has everything a dessert needs – cream, butter, sugar, a little earthyness, and perfect consistency. And it’s messy.

You need:

  • 250 g dates
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 85 g butter
  • 140 g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp treacle
  • 100 ml milk

For the toffee sauce

  • 175 g brown sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 225 ml ful fat cream
  • a small pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp treacle

Sticky toffee pudding ingredients

Start by soaking the de-seeded dates (cover them with boiling water in a small bowl). Cut the butter into small bits and let it soften on a plate. Whisk the eggs in one bowl. Mix the flour and the bicarbonate soda in another bowl. In a third, larger bowl, start combining everything, by mixing the sugar and butter. Add the eggs, bit by bit. Then fold in half of the flour, followed by half of the milk. Whisky lightly before adding the rest of the milk and flour. Add the treacle. Finally, mash up the soaked dates with a fork, and stir them into the mix.

Sticky toffee pudding mold

Pour this into a buttered and floured form (or 10 small ramekins) , and put in the oven on 180 degrees for about 45 minutes (or 20 minutes for ramekins). While the pudding in baking, make the toffee sauce by melting the sugar and butter in a pan. Stir frequently, and keep an eye on it when it starts to bubble. After about two minutes of bubbling, add the treacle and half the cream and raise the temperature. Let it bubble away for an additional two minutes, then take it off the heat and stir in the rest of the cream.

Making toffee sauce

Once the sauce is done, you just need to watch the pudding. It should be soft and sticky to touch, but not wobbly, when you remove it from the oven. You can slice up into pieces and serve right away, drowned in the toffee sauce and accompanied by some perfectly softened ice cream. If you want the pudding to be hyper-sticky, leave it soaked in the sauce overnight, then heat up the following day, doused with some additional hot toffee sauce. If you make them in ramekins, they are the perfect freezer dessert. All you need to do at a later date is make the toffee sauce, which you drizzle over the puddings once they’ve spent two minutes in the microwave. Desserts never were so easy, moreish, or sticky.

Pudding and toffing

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The deep fried mars bar

Deep fried mars bar

I approached this dish with both fear and awe. So mythical, so extravagant, so often portrayed as the epitome of obesity on the British Isles. Medical journal The Lancet even conducted a telephone survey to established how widely it could be linked to the Scottish dietary environment. Mars bars are against rhyme and reason, yet also tantalising. I aimed for my hipster peak by battering them with Belgian Honey beer, Barbar (8%), and served them to a panel of two Swedes and one American. The verdict?

  • “Excellent, especially with beer. Nine out of ten”
  • “One small bite met many expectations”
  • “Nice mix of savoury and sweet, much fudgier than expected.”

They were delicious, even tough none of us really wanted them to. The mars bar goes all fudgy and light. The beer batter tastes salty and rich. They aren’t even as oily as you’d expect. Served up hot with some cold vanilla ice cream, they would be killer desserts.

Mars bar in batter


  • Mars bars (the small ones are the best size, for the avoidance of over-eating)
  • 1 dl beer of choice (Belgian Honey beer was a good match, but I’m sure any dark ale would work wonders too)
  • 2 dl self-raising flour
  • A pinch of baking powder
  • Two pinches of salt
  • 1 egg

Start by putting the mars bars in the fridge, as they deep fry better cold. Mix all the batter ingredients together briskly, then set in the fridge to cool down. When you’re ready for action, set your deep fryer to 170 degrees, and skewer one of the mars bars with the end of a knife or long wooden tooth pick (you need to be able to hold the end of it). Coat it with batter, and carefully lower into the fryer. Once the batter has taken hold around the bar, carefully remove the knife or tooth pick, and continue the process with the remaining mars bars. They only need a minute or two in the fryer, and should be taken up when golden and crispy. Serve immediately, with something smooth and cold.