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Happy Secret Garden Wednesday! If you’ve been following along, the last four Wednesdays have been filled with A Year in the Secret Garden inspired crafts, recipes and nature activities.
Traditionally speaking snow days are behind us and so are the comfort foods that go along with chillier weather. In the past when there have been snowy days, there’s always a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove, warm bread out of the oven, and more hot chocolate than you can muster. Our family also loves a very “Secret Garden-ish” dessert that is so warm and cozy that it’s one of the first things I make on a “snow day.” Sticky Toffee Pudding is warm, delicious and completely lovely.
It’s also something we love to whip up even when it’s NOT cold outside. Give it a try and pretend you are transported back to the times of Mary, Dickon, and Martha.
Cheers and Enjoy!
From the book A Year in the Secret Garden (page 63)
Sticky Toffee Pudding
picture source-Food Network
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups of sifted all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates ( about 6 ounces)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups (Packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (1/2) stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Butter and flour Bundt pan. Bring dates and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda ( mixture will become foamy). Set aside; let cool.
Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend (mixture will be grainy). Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into the mold.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack.
(Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm gently before using. )
Bring sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Cut cake into wedges. Serve with sauce and whipped cream.
Want to enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden? A Year in the Secret Garden is over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook, and craft room. Learn more, or grab your copy HERE.