Sticky toffee pudding ice cream with ‘hot date’ sauce.
My note read: VD, sticky, hot date? Permit me to translate: Valentine’s Day, sticky toffee pudding ice cream with a hot date sauce. Now there’s a note that went swiftly through the shredder! So the Valentine thing, let’s face it you’re damed if you do and you’re damed if you don’t, commercial whohaa, care and share, naughty and nice, what ever floats your ice cream boat?
Inspiration for dish.
Open fridge to remove brioche, mis-catch precariously balanced, fresh, store-bought custard which assailed slowly to the floor whilst splitting the container en route. Follow with language that would make a builder blush and the euphoria of a small grey kitten who thought all his birthdays had just rolled into one, when the lid landed before him, sunny side up, having adhered his favorite ping-pong ball in its wake. Then, he, it and the custard duly skiddled in rapid circumnavigation of the island in the kitchen whilst I rugby tackled the custard to a nearby jug. At this point a golden opportunity presented itself. Redecorate?
You all right? Bellowed the tea boy from his office in a land far, far away.
Yes, yes, all fine thanks (perfect lie)
Can I help?
No, no, it’s all ok stay where you are, I’m cooking dessert for Valentine. (two perfect lies in succession).
With that the small grey purveyor of much purring slid to a halt whilst wearing custard socks and a face pack (which included many of his little whiskers). Customized face and paws swiftly sorted he was retired to his basket in my office whence he continued to spend the remainder of the afternoon sorting personal laundry issues.
Indeed, the ailing custard could have had a store-bought microwavable pud, chopped and folded through but it was the salted caramel toffee’d goo that overtook my mind with bits of pud not really rocking the rudder to my taste buds. As ‘deconstruction’ comes and goes in food fashion (of course you imagine I simply wouldn’t sleep a wink Dharlings if we weren’t on trend with the pudding fashionistas). A decent decadent sticky toffee involves dates and …. ping, lightbulb moment. Oh, but just hold that thought, bicarb and the tea boy – nope absolutely not, never ever going there again!
The Glorious Goo
Adding about 1 cup of white caster sugar to a non stick pan, on a medium heat, it started to caramel then as it browned one added a decent couple of tablespoons of butter when there was much bubbling and spattering, this was doused with a cup or so of double cream. Heavy or down right fattening cream works whereas lighter creams seemingly miss the point and such concoctions are inclined to split or crystallise so don’t stir the sugary stuff, just swirl in the good gear, this is not a skinny recipe. Flay a scant half teaspoon of salt over the hot caramel and don’t try tasting or burning your fingers or mouth again until its dissolved, stir gently. Leave to cool whilst containing your disbelief at how, less than half a cup of custard, can cause so much chaos?
What to do with the Goo
Combine half the salty sweet caramel goo into the anxiously awaiting custard. Break up a chocolate or toffee muffin, a couple of ginger nut biscuits or brandy snap if you fancy adding a little texture or crunch? Process in an ice cream machine or a suitable lidded container. Perform the scratch and scrape method of turning the setting ice cream with a fork once an hour until the ice cream is set.
As an alternative: Use salted caramel leche from a jar if you are time short, divorced, separated, having an affair, now commitment phobic, or maybe just making it for yourself (because you can), as Mr or Ms Right is just around the corner, you enjoy being single. See any, or all, of the above as reasons or excuses for making this.
A saucy hot date?
Here is the simplest most succulent and deplorably yummy sauce. Remove the stones from about 15 Medjool dates, slice, chop and cover with sweet marsala wine, cover and leave at room temperature to mascarate over night. The infused emollient dates are shamelessly relaxed by the Marsala wine, in combination they meld to become an ambrosial and luxurious sauce particularly when combined with the remainder of the toffee goo. Combine and heat gently in a pan or microwave to hot without lengthy cooking just before serving, then stir through a scant tablespoon of bourbon if you have some. Cue: Violins, Choirs of Angels and pour over the ice cream, as above, or maybe some big knickers ice cream. Simple recipe see here.
To serve a la Valentine.
As shown I eventually set the sticky toffee ice cream in a mould (actually a two-part perspex decoration) the pudding part is a piece of chocolate muffin in the centre. A small heart shape cutter to slices of strawberry ticked that box whilst a teaspoon of the set sauce popped into some little pastry tart cases and then topped with meringue worked well. Serve the hot sauce separately, pouring it generously over the cold ice cream in front of your guest (even if that happens to be you) the marsala, date and sticky toffee combi are positively seductive. Or in the words of the tea boy ” … but it isn’t Valentines day, is it?”
Angels and violins exit stage left…..