When we were living in a small town in the foothills of the Western Cascades, there was a small cafe across the river that had on their dessert menu a date cake with caramel sauce. I used to get a piece to take home and would eat it over a couple days. It was so wonderful and rich and they'd give you two plastic cups of caramel sauce to heat up and pour over it. I have missed it ever since we moved away.
I was reading through some British recipes this afternoon and came across Sticky Toffee pudding and it sounds as though it might be the same exact thing!
Maybe the cafe thought that 'date cake with caramel sauce' would sell better than 'sticky toffee pudding' in a small town in Western Washington.
I can hardly wait to try the recipe! This one is from The Food Network.
* 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 3/4 cup pitted dates
* 1 1/4 cups boiling water
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the dates fine. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl of electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Toffee Sauce: Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Preheat broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the sauce over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Serve immediately spooned into dessert bowls. Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.