Saturday, July 28, 2012

Going for the Gold

For the past several Olympics I have attended an Opening Ceremonies party thrown by my dear friends, Wendy and Andrew. Todd and I were thrilled to attend this year's festivities which occurred last night. The party was marvelous as always, Andrew, a master of mixology, appropriately mixed up the best gin and tonics in honor of London. I always look forward to being their guest as something about watching the Opening Ceremonies in great company seems to further cultivate the inspiration that comes with the Olympic Games.
For the party, I brought my host and hostess homemade Sticky Pudding with Toffee Sauce, fitting the theme of the evening. I was more than pleased with this recipe and will definitely be using this again when the weather gets a bit chillier. It was very easy and quick to make, I used a muffin pan instead of making it in a cake pan. These little pudding cakes are very, very sweet so the size was the perfect amount. Cheerio!

Sticky Pudding with Toffee Sauce
 Adapted from Bon Appetit January 2012 by Sandy LernerTavern

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the sauce:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon brandy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pan. Bring dates and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan, with sides that will allow for the sauce to expand. Remove from heat, slowly stir in baking soda, the mix will foam up. Set aside to cool.
Combine 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. Add 1 egg and beat to blend. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into muffin tins.
Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool.

To make the sauce:

 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 and stir in brandy and vanilla.

and... a small group pictures from the party...

Gin and Tonics
London Pride

Todd sporting his red, white and blue


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