I was out last night with some friends, when one of them was overcome by an empanada craving. I didn’t want one last night, but when lunchtime rolled around today, I couldn’t think of anything else. Also, it’s gorgeous out, and I needed an excuse to take a walk. So, I went to Julia’s.
I returned from my errands, and, munching on my empanada (I finally branched out from chorizo to Jamaicans style beef with potatoes and curry,) started sifting through various e-mails, when I came across my newest “test” recipe from Cook’s Illustrated:
Sticky. Toffee. Pudding.
Holy crap. I love this stuff. Once upon a time, when I was but a wee high school cook, I invited my Sunday School class over for a dinner party in celebration of our impending departure to the British Isles. Our meal was decidedly Mediterranean in theme, with my favorite roasted tomato sauce and orzo with peas and mint. There were several vegetarians in our midst, and, well, traditional British food just wasn’t going to cut it.
For dessert however, I went with Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was easy, tasty, and had the added bonus of being sort of Scottish (depending on who you ask)- we were going to be spending most of our time on the trip in Scotland (It would mark the beginning of my love/hate relationship with Scotland.)
Also, we were waaaaay to immature for me to serve something called “Spotted Dick” with a straight face. Scratch that. I’m probably still to immature.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is everything gingerbread wants to be when it grows up. The wealthy manor cousin, if you will- rich, spicy, and decadent. It smells fabulous when cooking, is HIGHLY amenable to additions like candied ginger and dried cranberries, and most importantly, is very, very good. (Ok, time to stop anthropomorphizing my food.)
This particular recipe calls for individual servings, baked in ramekins in a water bath. As the unfortunate result of my living situation, I’ve put most of my kitchen purchases on hold for the time being. But now, between the new Target and this recipe, I now have the perfect excuse for buying a bunch of ramekins. They’ll also come in handy this summer, when I’m drowning in tomatoes and spend weekends making ridiculous batches of sauce and chili, and want to pretend I’m on a cooking show, and have everything nicely chopped in its own little bowl.
The recipe has to be critiqued by Friday, April 18th.
Who’s coming over for Sticky Toffee Pudding next week?