For this Monday Night Martha, we did something decidedly un-Martha. We baked Sticky Toffee Pudding while still wearing our pajamas. Yeah, that's right. We were in our pajamas past noon. It's hard for us to imagine the super-achieving, real Martha cooking in her pajamas. And even if she did, we're positive hers would be a lot snazzier than ours, and would include a color-coordinated robe, slippers and some clever hair accessory.
We were in the mood for a warm winter dessert (even though we will have temps in the low 70s here in Phoenix) and settled upon Sticky Toffee Pudding because the recipe called for 8 oz. of Medjool dates and a half-cup of light rum. Add heavy cream and butter and brown sugar, and it sounded rich and slightly debauched.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is a "pudding" in the British sense of the word; it is a sponge cake and not squishy. It is also slathered in a toffee sauce (read: more rum).
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While in Britain there are both savory and sweet puddings -- Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the traditional English dessert puddings. Others that come with excellent names are Sussex Pond Pudding, Figgy Pudding, Roly-Poly, Eve's Pudding, and Spotted Dick.
We found the recipe in a February 2007 copy of Martha Stewart Living, where Martha does a round up of traditional English desserts. We tried to find the same recipe on Martha Stewart online and couldn't, but this recipe is close. However in this recipe Martha has swapped the half-cup of light rum with 1-teaspoon vanilla extract. We think we'd stick with the rum.
The Wikipedia entry for Sticky Toffee Pudding claims that it is known to be Johnny Depp's favorite food. Who knows if it's true or not, but it certainly provides a nice visual. We would gladly spend the day in our pajamas with Captain Jack Sparrow eating Sticky Toffee Pudding absolutely any time.