Finally, a sticky toffee pudding cake that doesn’t make my teeth ache.
The trouble with most sticky toffee puddings is that they’re often too sweet, tooth-aching collisions of saccharine and sauce clashing into cake. I imagine that much can be done to mellow this straight-shooting spear of sweet.
I’ve finally found a home baker who, with gentle hand and conscious purpose, achieves the precarious proportion between brown sugar and butter, dates and cream. Joy Roxas, who introduces herself to me via email with the sentence: “After a 10-year incubation period, and inspired by your article , I’ve finally started selling my home-baked products!” Bewildered though I am about that “decade-long incubation period,” Joy explains that she started baking in 1998 owing to a glut of free time, a hobby that took off in the Christmas of 2000 when she began selling brownies, food for the gods, and revel bars.
Disinterested though I am with bar cookies (all of which she still sells, along with other things) it’s Joy’s date toffee pudding (aka sticky toffee pudding) that appeals to me. A brown sugar date cake lolls in a lake of toffee protected by a plastic lid: whoosh! off it goes, the mingling scents of brown sugar and butter exhilarates.
It arrives chilled so the sauce is viscous, a situation easily remedied by a blitz in the microwave. Prodded by heat, the sauce trickles over the side of the wedge-shaped slice, its tip gleams in the light. A dessert of this sort implies action on the part of the eater, unlike custard that’s mindlessly spooned into one’s mouth. Now that the sauce is liquid, I smear even more sauce (there’s an unfortunate lack of it overall) over my slice of cake. Action done, the reward is a dual temperature dessert of hot sauce, cool cake coming together into something that’s altogether warm and soft with pockets of tiny dates and kisses of sweet instead of smooches of saccharine.
My only issue with this sticky toffee pudding, aside from the dire need of more sauce, is that the cake is slightly dry, hence the need for more sauce. This is something I’ve already addressed with Joy, and she assures me that it’ll be resolved. Joy also makes a good – again, not too sweet – white chocolate cheesecake, the crust’s recipe of which she got from my recipe as well as walnut chocolate chunk cookies, the recipe of which she got from a cookbook I sold some years ago.
Date toffee pudding by Joy Roxas (various sizes available beginning at P450)
0920 951 8849.
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