If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the past few years it is this: give me something delicious to aim for and I can probably withstand anything. Yesterday, with news of a possible Sticky Toffee Pudding in the pipeline, work was a breeze, I didn’t mind the awful weather, and even my soaked trainers weren’t a problem. Not with a homemade dessert on the horizon.
The pudding in question was brought to the Hog-House for an impromptu feast by the marvellous baker Beardy. I felt truly blessed. For, when it came to tucking in, that pud was frankly AWESOME.
I think I’d forgotten how satisfying Sticky Toffee Pudding can be – how it ticks all my favourite boxes. Warm? Check. Sweet? Check. Gooey? Darn tootin’.
In order to produce this magnificent beast, Beardy had followed a Jamie Oliver recipe – a naughty unofficial one, secreted from the internet. And let me tell you, Ogglers: it was perfect. The sponge was vast, light, and moist – made from a mixture which contained, among other things, mixed spice, cinnamon, pureed dates, natural yoghurt and… Ovaltine.
That’s right, folks. Ovaltine. What genius! Thanks to that, the resulting portions were lovely and malty – with the yoghurt adding extra moisture, and the dates and spices creating what must surely count as health food (if you ignore the copious amounts of butter and sugar, that is).
And as for the sauce. Well…
Give me a moment to collect myself…
What’s the word?
Yep. That’s right: WOWZERS.
The sauce. Was. The Shizzle.
It’s such a simple thing to make: just butter, light brown sugar and double cream, all mixed and melted over a low heat for several minutes. But with minimum fuss comes maximum taste: a massively indulgent, super-rich-super-sticky pouring sauce, in which there is no other option but to drown your sponge (and sorrows).
We both went for seconds, of course. After that, I cleaned up the pan which was used for the sauce – with my mouth and finger. Naturally.
To my utter delight, the euphoria didn’t end there. With another of her prototypes lurking at home, Beardy left me the remnants, to munch with the Man in the days to come.
That girl deserves a sainthood. And, after all this typing, I think I deserve my thirds…