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Food: Pure indulgence; Enjoy a perfect sticky toffee pudding.

HAVE often mentioned one of my late great mentors Francis Coulson, who is the creator of the country house hotels that we know today. Francis's legacy is that old time great dish, Sticky Toffee Pudding and although he never printed a cookery book he is well credited with this invention.

What made Francis's dish so much better than all the imitations was his fantastic local produce he would source. I can remember accepting deliveries of gallons of thick unpasteurised cream which he used to make for the sticky toffee sauce, sadly those day are gone - unpasteurised cream is something of the past and the sauce will never be quite the same.

There have been many variations of sticky toffee pudding and I have no intentions in trying to out do Francis's version, but here is a different way of presenting it which may be a little novel, and I have combined the idea with a muffin recipe I wrote some months earlier. I don't know whether Francis would have approved of the creme fraiche but he didn't approve of pasteurisation either


Ingredients (makes 6 large muffins

For the Muffin200g pitted dates 250ml boiling water Too tempting to resist

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 75g unsalted butter chopped into cubes 1 teaspoon vanilla compound 2 eggs 160g unrefined organic caster sugar 225g self raising flour

For the sauce 75g unsalted butter 75g organic moscavado sugar 1 tablespoon of treacle 150ml double cream Tub creme fraiche for serving

what to drink

DE BORTOLI Show Liqueur Muscat, South Eastern Australia is an intense aromatic raisin, fig and coffee nose with beautiful rancio notes. The palate bursts with rich and concentrated Muscat flavours infused with raisins, coffee and caramel characters making it ideal for these muffins. Available from Majestic Wine Warehouses, priced pounds 9.99


Pre heat the oven to 180C degrees, gas 4 and lightly grease 6 large muffin tins or 12 regular. Place the dates in a food processor and chop well, measure 250ml of boiling water from the kettle and pour in, add the bicarbonate of soda, butter and vanilla straight after. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in the sugar. Add the flour and beat in well before adding the date puree and mixing to a smooth batter. Divide the mix between the tins and bake for 20 minutes until cooked onto a cooling tray. Meanwhile make the sauce. This is easy. Place the butter, moscavado, treacle and double cream in a pan and bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute. Pour over the muffins and serve with a good scoop of creme fraiche
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 21, 2005
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