This is a Peter Gordon recipe from his Sugar Club Cookbook, which made its debut way back in 1997 with his inspirational Pacific rim cuisine. I have been making some of his dishes for years, and regularly, like Molly's lemon roast chicken, a combination of chicken drumsticks with lemon and kumera (we make it with our sweet potato, not quite the same but still a great combo with the chicken), and the very versatile spicy red lentil soup with chicken dumplings, but our all time favorite is the scallops with sweet chili sauce, a thrilling treat for the taste buds, it's one of Peter Gordon's signature dishes and is served at Public in New York, in fact there are many tasty delights dished up by the very talented chef Brad Farmerie, it's the only place in New York City to get Hokey Pokey ice cream!
This was my first foray into the world of sticky toffee pudding, hard to imagine really, as I come from a land of hot steamy wintry puds like spotted dick and bread and butter pudding, and of course toffee, cavities anyone? It was a fun pudding to make, adding the fruit mixture to the batter produced a wonderful, unctuous lava-like mixture. I only fiddled with the recipe a little bit; I added dried figs; black mission figs, they are very moist and gave the pudding a delicious texture. I say hot because it tastes so much better when warm, especially with a caramel sauce on top or ice cream....hokey pokey!
It must have been an aberration as I had an overwhelming desire to pour a hot chocolate sauce over my pudding.....I rarely eat anything chocolate, my friend Kevin on the other hand can't get enough of the stuff.
Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding
3/4 cup demerara sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups water
7 ounces pitted whole dried dates
about 6 dried black mission figs
3 tablespoons dried currants
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1 cup walnut pieces
1 tablespoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350f and lightly oil a deep 10 inch cake pan, this is how I made it but you could also do as PG does and use six ramekins. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the vanilla and egg and beat again for a minute. Sift the flour and baking powder, mix in and set the batter aside in a warm place.
Put the water, fruit and nuts in a pan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the baking soda (don't worry about frothing). Stir into the batter and mix well (think Etna or Ruapehu!) Spoon into the cake pan or ramekins until three-quarters full, place on a baking sheet and put in oven. Test after 25 minutes by inserting skewer; it should come out clean, although if a little fruit sticks that's fine. Once cooked, let the pudding sit in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.