Sticky Toffee Pudding for First on the First

Sticky Toffee Pudding
I always have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions.  I’m like everyone else in that I’ve had my January 1st’s that have begun with some declaration of change, that this, this will be the year I get out of debt, that I find the job that fulfills me, that I go to church more and keep my house clean and spend more time learning new and different things to cook instead of gravitating towards the stuff I know I can do.  

And then suddenly it’s August, and I’ve made only one extra payment toward my credit cards and the house has been a mess since March, and the most adventurous I’ve gotten in the kitchen so far is from-scratch ice cream.  Which sounds complicated, but I have a machine that does most of the work for me, so it’s not, really. 
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Last year, I promised myself that I would make 2013 count.  That there would be nothing concrete planned out, but that it would be a year where I did things deliberately, and hopefully, so I could look back on December 31st and think, “Ok. that was a good one.” 

Last night, as we were falling asleep, I said to the Big Man, “Can you believe that a year ago today, we had no intention of getting pregnant, no intention of opening a bar, and no plans to leave our apartment?”  And yet, here we are, one year later – I’m knocked up and ready to burst, his bar opened in September and has been a total hit, and we’re living in a new apartment that is large enough to have an actual hallway between the bedrooms (this is still a big deal for me after living for over three years in the Shoebox).  
Sticky Toffee Pudding
We began the new year with no grand plans, and no stout resolutions.  We just kind of sailed along with it as life happened.  And life, thankfully, happened to be pretty great.  

I’m starting this new year of 2014 with the same promise: live more deliberately, take life as it comes, hope for the big stuff, and do more in the kitchen.  That last part is why the First on the First blogger challenge is always fun, even those times when it’s a total disaster.  Making sticky toffee pudding was a first for me, although I’ve eaten my weight in them in the past – it’s a popular dessert in Ireland and we used to sell them at one of the restaurants I worked in, though I had never made one myself.  The toffee sauce is the best part; I went back and made another batch, since I’m a glutton for it.  I used a recipe by David Lebovitz, though I changed it up a bit according to what I had in my own kitchen, including the use of fresh ginger over candied (the fresh stuff gave a great, zingy vibe to a possibly heavy dessert) and subbed chopped California Figs instead of dates or raisins.  Since I don’t have a pretty souffle dish, I used my boring old bread pan.  Bonus: the sliced pan made it all the more easier for me to get at this cake during one of my “it’s 3 am and I’m HUNGRY” pregnancy cravings.   
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Make this sticky toffee pudding (at least make the sauce, it’s incredible) and keep your arms open  to 2014.  

Sticky Toffee Pudding
It's the delicious toffee sauce that'll get you in the end- this stuff is addicting!
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Toffee Sauce
  1. 1 cup heavy cream
  2. 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dark corn syrup
  4. pinch of salt
Pudding
  1. 1/2 heaping cup white flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  6. 1/2 cup white sugar
  7. 1 large egg, room temperature
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1/4 cup tap water
  10. 1/3 cup minced dried figs
  11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Instructions
  1. For the toffee sauce: Heat all toffee ingredients together over medium-high heat, stirring often. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let cook, stirring often, until the sauce has turned a deep, caramelly-brown color and it thick enough to heavily coat a spoon. Remove from heat. Butter a 3"x9"x5" loaf pan and pour half of the toffee sauce in the bottom of the pan, making sure it evenly covers the entire bottom. Place the pan in the freezer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  3. For the pudding: Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together (using a hand whisk or a mixer) until coarsely combined and very light yellow in color.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla extract and water to the butter and sugar and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time, and mix together. Be careful not to overmix. Add the dried figs and ginger and stir.
  5. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and pour the batter, evening out the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool slightly before serving, with the remaining toffee sauce poured on top.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Omeletta http://omeletta.com/
 

Interested in checking out First on the First? You don’t have to have a food blog to sign up! Come and make some kitchen mistakes and triumphs with us! Check out here or here for more info.
And here’s what the other First on the First bloggers came up with for this month’s challenge. (I really need to up my photo game after reading these)

12 Comments

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  • Kate | Food Babbles

    Mmm mmm mmm!! That picture of pouring toffee on the side of the plate made me drool. Yum! Thanks for joining in with us again this month. I love your resolution to live more deliberately and take life as it comes. Looks like that plan worked out pretty darn well last year! Happy new year and I hope 2014 is even more wonderful than 2013 for you.

  • Anna Nienhuis

    Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful, exciting 2013 – here’s to 2014 being just as good! With a little one on the way you’re guaranteed some excitement for sure :) Your pudding turned out great!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I think it’s awesome that even though you didn’t have any concrete goals heading into 2013, you still moved forward SO MUCH. I’ve actually never had sticky pudding let alone MADE IT. On the bucket list.

  • http://hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com/ Eileen

    Hey, a hallway is a real achievement in NYC! :) It sounds like you guys had a pretty great year, broken resolutions notwithstanding. I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding, but anything with ginger, figs, and caramel definitely gets my vote!

  • http://neighborfoodblog.com/ Courtney @ Neighborfood

    Love these “resolutions.” I’ve never been much for making specific resolutions either, but I’m definitely entering 2014 with a lot of hope for whatever adventures might lie ahead. Just the name of this dish sounds like the best thing that ever existed. I’ve never had Sticky Toffee Pudding, but I think I can say with confidence I could consume several slices in one sitting.

  • littleredkitchen

    You had a pretty incredible 2013 and I think this year there is no way to make a resolution with what’s coming your way! Just keep the house stocked with toffee and you’ll be good to go!

  • http://www.wearenotmartha.com wearenotmartha

    I both love and am totally scared by how much can change in a year! I had sticky toffee pudding on New Year’s Eve and now I’m dying to make it. This looks delicious!

    Sues

  • Jessica Fiorillo

    Looks like I am going to have a new food addiction…so yummy. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!

  • Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    Ruthy!!! This sounds amazing. Yum! This year we skipped the resolutions and just made a list of awesome. I’m loving it. This year will be happy and hopeful and you made us delicious dessert! Plus you’re ready to pop so… yeah!!

  • http://poetinthepantry.com Carrie

    What a year 2013 was for you! Look at all the great strides you made! And look at all that’s ahead of you in 2014! I’m so happy for you!!! And so glad you’ve joined us in First on the First. :) Great job on your Sticky Toffee Pudding!

  • Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    Sticky Toffee Pudding is my most favourites favourite dessert of all time. I LIVE FOR IT. This looks heavenly.

  • http://www.thewellflouredkitchen.com/ Sherri@TheWellFlouredKitchen

    This looks wonderful! I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding, I love the figs and ginger. Of course, I may eat any anything if it was covered in that toffee sauce.. yum.