My good friend Andy asked for the recipe for the Sticky Toffee Pudding. He's from across the pond where they make this stuff all the time. Andy - I hope this meets your expectations (oh and Andy - it would be really cool to make it as a surprise for your missus).
It's a pretty easy recipe but the result is really quite out of this world. The only mildly exotic thing is the dates and soaking them (something I've never done before). Beyond that - it's a quick and easy recipe - perfect for making with kids I would think. The only trouble I ran into is the toffee sauce; it kept splitting. I don't know why. I just whisked it together and it tastes fine.
And in case you don't know, this recipe makes pudding in the British sense (cakey dessert), not the North American/Bill Cosby sense (thickened milk based dessert).
This recipe is taken (and slightly modified) from Jamie Oliver's cookbook "Jamie's Dinners"
Sticky Toffee Pudding
8oz fresh or dried dates, pitted
1 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 C + 1 tbsp flour
1 1/5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp instant/espresso ground coffee
2 tbsp plain yogurt
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C + 1 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F
Put dates in a bowl with baking soda and cover with 1 C boiling water. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Drain and puree in a food processor.
Cream butter and eggs until pale and then add flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and coffee. Mix together. Fold in date puree and yogurt. Pour into a butter oven-proof dish and make for 35 minutes. Don't over bake - it should still be moist in the middle.
Meanwhile, make toffee sauce. Over low heat melt the butter and sugar. Add the heavy cream and cook until sauce has thickened.
To server, spoon pudding into a bowl and drizzle toffee sauce over top.