What’s For Dinner?
Sticky Toffee Pudding - from Holeman & Finch
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of ... Holeman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Road N.E., Suite B, Atlanta
Q: Recently I took my son and his girlfriend out to dinner at Holeman & Finch. We were extremely pleased with a number of the small plates on the menu and didn’t find anything that we wouldn’t order again. What really knocked out our tastebuds was a dessert made with toffee that was similar to a bread pudding. We all agreed that if we hadn’t been stuffed from dinner, we would have all ordered our own toffee treats instead of the one we shared. Is there any way you can get us that recipe?
-- Tom Wilder, Roswell
A: Chrysta Umberger, executive pastry chef for Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bread Co., says the Sticky Toffee Pudding on the menu at Holeman & Finch is one of her personal favorites. She even served it to her family on Christmas Eve. Though sticky toffee pudding is a very English dessert, Umberger notes that it is made-to-order to Southern tastes. “Sweet, warm, gooey ... what more could a Southerner ask for?” she asks. “The cake is so moist and then you have that sauce -- you put a scoop of ice cream on there for balance, and it’s just perfect.”
-- Deborah Geering,
for the Journal-Constitution
Hands on time: 40 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves: 8
FOR THE CAKE:
1 cup water
1 cup quartered dates (about 6 ounces pitted )
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons rum
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE SAUCE:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside. Put the water and dates in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda, stirring to combine. Let cool to just barely warm.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat (or stir) to combine. Add the egg and rum and beat until incorporated. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until crumbly. Stir in the date mixture, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and the sides pull slightly from the sides of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the sauce: In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, cream, brown sugar, rum and chocolate chips, stirring with a whisk until sauce comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
When the cake comes out of the oven, let cool 10 minutes. With a fork or toothpick, pierce the cake all over. Pour about half the sauce over the cake slowly, pushing it down into the cake with an offset spatula or spoon. Return the sauced cake to the oven and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes to let the sauce soak in.
Cut the warm cake into 16 pieces, then stack 2 pieces onto each serving plate. Drizzle generously with some of the remaining sauce. Top with a dollop of sweetened cream or ice cream.