03 June 2009

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding (with title)
When I was in my fourth year of undergrad (positively the Dark Ages), one of my friends who was frustrated with me told me point-blank that I cut people too little slack. As a result, she said, I hurt one of my closest friends at the time, who said I made him feel stupid. You have to be thankful for those moments when people are being brutally honest with you, because during the 90% of the time when people are just being mindlessly polite, you can't accurately make an assessment of yourself and your values. (Hopefully not too often, though, because it can get depressing.) However, even though I felt really bad for how he perceived me (for the record, I never thought he was stupid), I never said sorry for the things I made him feel.
Sticky Toffee Pudding (eaten)
Fast-forward to 7-9 years later, and I still haven't said anything. It's just that during the rare times that we see each other, everything seems to be back to normal. There's laughter, there's joshing, there's chatting, everything that friends do. And when I come home later, there's that sinking feeling that he would never feel as comfortable with me as he did when I was sure we were okay. However, talking to him about him nearly a DECADE later might just reopen a wound he doesn't want to be reminded of.

I guess guys are like that. If you think guys are horrible when it comes to apologizing to women, I assure you they are absolute crap when it comes to apologizing to other men (how can we be crap if WE DON'T EVEN DO IT?). Probably only when one is halfway through a drunken stupor would an actual "sorry" be uttered. It's one of the points in the series The Inbetweeners (watch this episode part 1, 2, and 3, with a warning of strong language and mature themes) that I really appreciated-- Simon and Jay never address the problem. They simply go on as if it had never happened, with the hope that Will understands he can always count on them (uh... spoiler!). Part of my problem is that not only do I not know if he doesn't want to be reminded of a painful memory, but there's also the possibility that it's too late to apologize (heh), or he may not even care anymore.

Maybe someday I'll say it. Or maybe I'll write an e-mail, saying I'm the stupid one. I don't deserve the slack but I hope you cut me some, and I hope that someday I can truly be deserving of the friendship that was offered to me, even when I was such an ass. Maybe this blog post is a step in that direction (should I send a link? Hah). I'm not sure, though, if I envy women for their ability to write pages and pages of apology letters to their friends! (Hey, I've received a few.)

Anyway. Maybe I can sweeten the deal with a classic English pudding. My dad, who doesn't usually like dessert, loved this, as did my grandmother, who couldn't get enough of the sauce that I became concerned there wouldn't be any left for everyone else! You can read my review of Claire Clark's Indulge at The Gastronomer's Bookshelf.

Sticky Toffee Pudding adapted from Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts
Clark says that the chocolate in the toffee sauce takes the edge off the sweetness, and I agree. It doesn't make it in-your-face chocolatey but it gives it more of a dimension than "sugar" (though I love me some molasses). She recommends using Medjool dates if you can find them.

  • 175g (6oz) dates, pitted and chopped

  • 300g (1-1/4 cups) water

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 50g (3-1/2 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter

  • 175g (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) sugar

  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten

  • 175g (1-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spray 6 ramekins with baking spray (or grease with extra butter). In a medium saucepan, add the dates and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda (it will look kinda gross). Leave to cool slightly.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after adding each one. Stir in all the contents of the saucepan. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and give it a whisk to combine. Pour the warm batter into the flour, whisking constantly as you do and making sure they are well-combined.

Divide the batter between the ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until well-risen and just firm to the touch. I managed to bake them for 25 minutes waiting for them to be firm, but it turns out I may have overbaked them. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
  • 350g (1-1/2 cups) heavy cream

  • 50g (1/4 cup packed) soft dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 25g (1oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), grated

In a small saucepan or skillet, bring the cream, sugar, and molasses to a boil over medium heat. Add the grated chocolate and stir until it's melted. Unmold the puddings and spoon the sauce over them.
You may also like:

Banoffee Pie Apple Trifle Maple, Salted Butter Caramel, and Pear Belle Helene

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