It seems as though my cat and I now have three things in common: napping; basking in our own glorious being; and pumpkin.
Turns out he enjoys winter squash mixed in with his food. I used to think he was kind of a jerk, but now I guess I can say he’s got good taste. (He must know I’m talking about him because he just walked into the room…)
Ever heard of Sticky Toffee Pudding? It’s a classic British dessert consisting of date-studded cake, covered in toffee sauce. And often topped off with a bit of ice cream, custard, or cream. Although it’s a cake, the term “pudding” in British cuisine can refer to dessert in general. I’ve made it once before, many moons ago, and I always think to myself that I should make it again. This time around I thought pumpkin would be an excellent addition to the cake.
Sticky Toffee Pumpkin Pudding
(adapted from this recipe)
1 1/4 cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or white whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
6 oz dried pitted dates, chopped
1 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup faux butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp arrowroot starch
2 cups non-dairy milk
1/2 cup turbinado or demerara sugar (or some other brown sugar)
2 1/2 Tbsp molasses, agave, or a mix of both
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp faux butter
1) To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 inch pan or baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2) Place the dates and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. When it starts to bubble, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. It will foam up like so…
3) In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla. Gently fold in half the flour, then the dates. Follow with the rest of the flour. Spread into the prepared pan and bake about 40 minutes, or until when you insert a toothpick, it has a few moist crumbs.
4) For the toffee sauce, reserve a couple of tablespoons of the milk and mix it with the arrowroot in a small cup. Set that aside. Then, in a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients, except the butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, to melt the sugar and evaporate some of the liquid. Here you can adjust the consistency by adding the arrowroot mixture (as much or as little as you want). Once you pour it in, the heat will activate the starch’s thickening power. If you find its still not thick enough for your liking, you can add more arrowroot, but make sure to mix it with cold milk before mixing it in. Once you got the sauce the way you like it, remove from heat and stir in the butter.
To serve the cake, there is but one rule: it must be warm. Otherwise, it’s pretty casual. You can poke holes in the cake and pour the sauce over, letting it soak in. Whoa, baby. Or, you can slice or spoon the cake out and drizzle the sauce all pretty…
Oh ehm gee. I was so right about the pumpkin.
In your face, cat, you can’t have any.
Damn you, human… Damn you.