Monday, 29 July 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This entry for The Egg Award 2013 is by maker of traybakes and sweet treats, using the freshest of eggs - Dottie Hen (Katie Gibson) from Newcastle upon Tyne.

You can find out details on how to enter your own dish by clicking on this link

Dotty Hen's motto is - Happy Hens = Happy Eggs = Happy Cakes = Happy People so we'll let her take up the story of her entry.....

We are delighted to be entering the Egg Awards 2013. It is everything that we stand for.

We are Dottie Hen and our Ethos is simple. Happy Hens = Happy Eggs= Happy Cakes= Happy People! Our cakes are made with the freshest of eggs from our own hens, Dottie and her friends.

Their names (Yes we went to the trouble of naming them haha) are: Dottie, Vicky, Tracy, Christine, Sal, Jane, Janey, Maureen, Bruce & Keith. (Yes we know Bruce and Keith are boy names but our kids named the last two hens so what can you do!).

It is just as much about the hens as it is the cakes for us. They love nothing better than chomping on kale, cabbage leaves, blackcurrants, pea pods and corn at the moment! Whatever they can get their little beaks on really. Our hens are free to roam when we are there to keep an eye on them from Mr Fox but also have a nice run and a 8x6ft hen house to sleep in. That is a lot of space for the hens to “bok bok” in. Even though they have all this space, when we go to collect the eggs in the evening (which is a family event that never fails to excite our 2 boys), the eggs are all found in the same corner of the nesting shelf, all nestled together. There is definitely a sense of happiness and team work amongst them!

And what utterly fabulous, sweet sunset yolks they are! This, we believe is our daily reward for keeping them happy and paying each individual hen the attention they need and deserve. They each have their own personality and distinctive bok boking sounds! We (and i mean all of us, even my husband although he would never admit to it..oops) chat to the hens everyday while cleaning them out and we get lots of 'bok boking' back! I am sure they understand us! :-)

The ultimate recipe to put these lovely eggs of gorgeousness in has to be Sticky Toffee Pudding! I came across this recipe in a magazine some time ago before we had hens. The recipe was still nice but now it is made with our own eggs that are literally hours old when they go into this sticky really does take it up to the next level. No fancy picture of the finished dessert just an honest image of how it usually looks after Sunday lunch and after it has been partly demolished. I don’t think you would ever see a picture of a whole one. Big wedge missing.. But that is how it is in our house...straight out of the oven and dive in to this homemade treat! Delicious! You will not regret making this!

Sticky Toffee Pudding


225g Ready-to-eat stoned dates
85g   Butter, softened
150g Dark Muscovado Sugar
2 Eggs
175g Plain flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Sauce

300ml Double Cream
200g Dark Muscovado Sugar
60g Unsalted Butter


       Preheat oven to 170C,Gas Mark 3, 150C Fan

       Grease 1 litre pudding basin and line the base with a circle of grease-proof paper
     Put the dates in a small saucepan with 200ml of boiling water from the kettle and simmer for 5mins, stirring occasionally until the dates are soft, leave to cool.
     Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar together until very soft. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Sift over the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and then gently fold into the mixture. Stir in the date mixture until just mixed.

      Spoon into the pudding basin, and level the surface with the back of the spoon. bake for about 1 hour 20 mins until just firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean. Check after an hour as it can be fully cooked at this time.

      When the pudding is reaching the end of it's cooking time, make the sauce. Put the cream, sugar and butter in a pan. bring to the boil, stirring and simmering gently for 2 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

      Turn out the pudding and remove the paper. Pour over some half the sauce, and put the rest in a jug and serve separately. serve with custard, cream or ice cream the choice is yours!

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