In France there is a chain of shops called Centrakor which sells a huge range of goods from buckets and saucepans to curtains and fancy dress party wear, similar to what you would find in The Range in the UK. It's a very handy group of shops and I was there recently to buy a new washing up rack. As I breezed past the bakeware section I spotted some cream horn moulds, three in a pack so I lashed out all of 6€ on two packs.
April 20, 2023
April 10, 2023
April 4, 2023
I am republishing this post (which I first published in 2015) because, like so many others, the links which give credit to the original source, have been changed. One leads just to the home web page, not the actual recipe, and the other links to something much more evil, a Chinese (I presume) porn site. Eek!
I suppose this means that I will simply have to trawl through all my previous posts and remove the links. Groan.
Anyway, this problem was drawn to my attention because I had a comment to moderate which simply said "rubbish recipe" from "unknown". I half remembered that it wasn't all that bad! Also that several other people had said they enjoyed it.
I deleted the comment but then wish I hadn't and had instead replied "rubbish comment"! One of the sad things about the internet is that it gives voice to people without the manners to say who they are or why they hold their opinions. They hide behind their anonymity to say things they probably wouldn't dare say directly to someone's face. Or maybe they would. I have to admit that a number of recipes that I have tried from blogs have turned out to be disappointing, even rubbish, but I haven't felt the need to leave a rude comment.
I suppose that with over 14,000 page views one duff comment is not too bad!
The other weekend I was feeling the need to bake something. Not just any old thing but something really indulgent and wicked. The post Christmas abstinence from baking and sweet stuff had caught up with me and I was having serious withdrawal symptoms.
However, I couldn’t be bothered to drag myself to the shops in the horrid weather – we were out walking our dog Lulu when I announced my urge to Nick and there was a bitterly cold wind stinging our faces. Thinking about what we had in our cupboards at home that I could use, I mentioned sticky toffee pudding, something I have never actually made before, and Nick’s eyes lit up. He often orders it when we go for a meal out so I knew he would be pleased. I then said “I think we have a pack of chopped dates somewhere” and he looked rather less pleased. He doesn’t like dates, apparently. Something else I hadn’t known about him for the last twenty years!
Now I’m pretty sure that most sticky toffee puddings do contain dates but he assured me that the one he normally gets at our favourite restaurant absolutely doesn’t. Hmmm……. Maybe the dates are so squidgy that he doesn’t realise they’re there. Anyway, I found myself consulting my cookbooks and eventually the internet for a recipe for a dateless sticky toffee pudding and found one on the allrecipes website (the link having now disappeared).
I followed the recipe exactly – it wasn’t difficult – and ended up with a nice sponge over which was poured a lovely toffee sauce. The sauce was delicious but overall the pudding was just ok. Not sticky enough for either of us and disappointing having read some of the reviews of the recipe.
Then I read further down the reviews and spotted that someone else had found a similar recipe elsewhere but with an interesting difference.
Instead of serving the sauce with the pudding, on removing the sponge from the oven you had to prick it all over, smother it with the sauce rather like a lemon drizzle cake, and let it seep into the cake.
Now this was much more like it! What a transformation from the rather dull to the incredibly wicked and indulgent! It was very, very sweet but totally gorgeous and I will most definitely be making it again – but not too soon………
For the sponge
190g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
120g dark soft brown sugar
80g butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the sauce
200g dark soft brown sugar
250ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 150° fan. Butter a suitable baking tin or dish, approx 21 x 18 cm.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter, until a light frothy foam appears on top.
Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix together until smooth and well blended.
Pour into the baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes until the the sponge is firm and golden brown.
While the sponge is baking, make the sauce by putting all the ingredients into a large saucepan and heating gently, stirring all the time, until smooth and dark brown. Set aside to cool slightly until the sponge is done.
When the sponge is cooked, remove it from the oven and prick all over with a skewer or fork, going right through to the bottom of the cake. Then pour the toffee sauce over it to allow it to seep into the sponge. There will be plenty of sauce left over to serve separately with the pudding.
Serve warm with the reserved toffee sauce, plus cream or ice cream for that extra indulgence – might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb as my dear mother used to say !!
Serves 6 generously, would easily stretch to 8 servings.